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Breaking down defensive snaps

On Sunday, the first-half snaps played by Patriots defenders in the preseason was dissected. The reason the first half was broken out was because Bill Belichick said, "We looked at a lot of people, a lot of young players, and that was kind of the idea – to get them in there and let them play – and we let them play against some better people there in the beginning of the game, so we’ll get a good evaluation of them."

So the first half snaps provide a look at the players Belichick was referring to.

Now here are the full-game totals (small margin for error, as charted in press box):

CB Darius Butler -- 56 of 56

S Patrick Chung -- 37 of 56

LB Dane Fletcher -- 37 of 56

LB Gary Guyton -- 37 of 56

S Brandon Meriweather -- 37 of 56

LB Rob Ninkovich -- 37 of 56

CB Kyle Arrington -- 33 of 56

DT Darryl Richard -- 31 of 56

DE Mark Anderson -- 27 of 56

DE Jermaine Cunningham -- 25 of 56

DE Eric Moore -- 25 of 56

CB Leigh Bodden -- 23 of 56

DT Kyle Love -- 22 of 56

DT Kade Weston -- 21 of 56

S Sergio Brown -- 19 of 56

DT Landon Cohen -- 19 of 56

LB Jeff Tarpinian -- 19 of 56

LB Tracy White -- 19 of 56

CB Jonathan Wilhite -- 19 of 56

DT Steve Williams -- 19 of 56*

S Bret Lockett -- 15 of 56

DE Alex Silverstro -- 13 of 56

LB Marques Murrell -- 12 of 56

DE Markell Carter -- 4 of 56

S Buddy Farnham -- 4 of 56

LB Aaron Lavarias -- 4 of 56

DE Clay Nurse -- 2 of 56

CB Malcolm Williams -- 1 of 56

* since been released

ANALYSIS: The one thing that stands out from the snap count is the name at the top -- Darius Butler. He was a 2010 opening-day starter but has slipped down the depth chart. This looked like a game where the coaches really wanted to take an extended look at him and what he might be able to contribute at cornerback. The coaching staff could have put seventh-round pick Malcolm Williams on the field in the second half, but elected to stay with Butler.