FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are 3-0 and they've done it with three rookie offensive linemen playing major roles. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick provided some insight on each of the three during his Wednesday news conference.
Left/right guard Shaq Mason (Georgia Tech, fourth round, 131st overall): "Shaq is probably one of the better run-blockers that we've evaluated, but he was obviously behind in the pass protection just because of [Georgia Tech's triple-option offensive] system. You saw him at the Senior Bowl and the workouts, and certainly as we've gone through the whole pass-protection thing here -- whether it be individual techniques or schemes/games and that kind of thing -- he gets better all the time."
Right guard Tre' Jackson; (Florida State, fourth round, 111th overall): "Tre' played in the same offense that [starting center Bryan] Stork did, so he was maybe a little further ahead in the passing game, but again, I don't think anyone is further ahead than Shaq could be in the running game."
Center David Andrews (Georgia, undrafted free agent): "Really productive player in a really good conference. He played against a lot of good people. He's played center all his life. He played in the East-West Game and I thought he showed well there. He's just a good football player."
Summing up the three, Belichick said, "They're all different, but they've kind of meshed together well both on and off the field -- communication and kind of getting a feel for playing with each other. A long way to go, but definitely making progress."
Here is the snap breakdown for the three, as Mason and Jackson have split time with third-year player Josh Kline:
Mason: 154 of 228
Jackson: 108 of 228
Andrews: 228 of 228