Big 4: Morris, Ihedigbo & White

DETROIT -- At one point last year, Patriots special teams coach Scott O'Brien used the term "Big 4" when describing players on the roster who are part of the kickoff coverage, kickoff return, punt coverage and punt return units.

A "Big 4" player might not be a front-line player on offense or defense, but his contributions on fourth down put him on the 46-man game-day roster.

With this in mind, here is a look at the players who appeared on multiple first-string special teams units on Saturday night:

Four units

S James Ihedigbo

RB Sammy Morris

LB Tracy White

Three units

S Sergio Brown

LB Niko Koutouvides

LB Marques Murrell

WR Matthew Slater

Two units

CB Kyle Arrington

CB Devin McCourty

S James Sanders

ANALYSIS: One has to be careful when reading too much into special teams personnel in the preseason, especially when the Patriots left 19 players at home and were mixing and matching a bit on special teams. Still, with the right context, looking at the top special teams units can provide insight as to the value of players in the eyes of the coaching staff. From this view, veteran linebacker Tracy White's name stands out. He's been a tough player to project on the final 53-man roster, but when looking at his presence on all four units and his past production (second on the team in special teams tackles in 2010), I think he's made a strong case to stick.