Focusing on core special teamers

When comprising a 53-man roster, and then a 46-man game-day roster, coaches often cite the importance of special teams. Backups at various positions have a better chance of being active on game-day if they play on fourth down.

The core four units are kickoff return, kickoff coverage, punt return and punt coverage and here are the Patriots players who showed up on most units in Monday's season-opening win over the Dolphins:

Four units

LB Dane Fletcher

S James Ihedigbo

WR Matthew Slater (team captain)

LB Tracy White

Three units

CB Kyle Arrington

S Josh Barrett

S Sergio Brown

Two units

S Patrick Chung

KR/PR Julian Edelman

LB Gary Guyton

CB Devin McCourty

CB Antwaun Molden

LB/DE Rob Ninkovich

RB Danny Woodhead