Versatile Akeem Ayers adapts to Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Newly acquired linebacker Akeem Ayers drew a large media crowd in the locker room today following his second practice with the New England Patriots.

Here were some quick hits:

Explaining his dip in Tennessee: Ayers went from high second-round pick in 2011 to falling out of favor this season. Asked to explain how things unfolded, Ayers said, "I was a part of some coaching changes, and things like that can happen. That’s in the past and I’m happy to be here."

Knees feel good: Ayers had surgery to repair both patellar tendons in the offseason. "I worked hard to get back healthy and have good rehab. It paid off," he said. "I’m feeling great. I’m not limited. Fully able to go."

How he would define himself as a player: Asked what type of player he feels the Patriots are getting, Ayers started with this, "I believe I have a lot of versatility ... I’m able to drop in coverage, I can rush, and things like that ... I think the defensive scheme can fit what I’m able to do well. We do a lot of different things."

Biggest challenge of a midseason trade: Ayers feels up to the task physically. The bigger challenge is the mental side. "Just moving midseason and learning an entirely new defensive scheme; sometimes it takes months to learn a playbook," he said.

Thoughts on the trade: Ayers described his thoughts on the trade, saying, "I’ m happy to get in a good situation here, and a better position where I can get a better opportunity to play, possibly."

Extra points: Ayers said he’s not sure if he will play Sunday, because he’s still in the acclimation process. ... Special teams captain Matthew Slater was one of the few Patriots that Ayers had a background with, as they crossed paths at UCLA. ... Ayers is wearing No. 52.