FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Sunday that this is the point of training camp where if a player is going to make a move, now is the time because the schedule is tightening.
Third-year offensive lineman Nick McDonald has done so in a unique way.
Since coming off the physically unable to perform list after the first week of training camp, he has lined up at every position -- left tackle, left guard, center, right guard and right tackle. In the second half of Thursday's preseason opener, he bailed the team out with some solid work at left tackle and right tackle.
The NFL-based tackle duties were new for the 6-foot-4, 305-pound McDonald, a third-year player out of Grand Valley State.
"He played tackle in college but has primarily played inside in the NFL. We don't have a lot of depth at tackle, so he was probably the most experienced guy with also the athleticism to be able to play the position," Belichick explained.
"I thought really, he did a pretty good job out there [in the preseason opener], for not much practice. He hadn't done it in a couple years, and went back out there and did a pretty credible job. So it was great to see. There are not many offensive linemen in the league that can play all five spots. If he could do that, that would be very valuable to our football team."
Belichick couldn't think of many five-position linemen over the course of his 38-year NFL coaching career, although acknowledged that there are players who could have done it if given the opportunity.
"I'm sure [Logan] Mankins could play anywhere on the line," he said.