By: Russ Goldman
Patriots fans should be pretty familiar with Shaun Ellis. The 34 year old defensive end has been harassing Patriots quarterbacks since he came into the league in 2000 with the Jets. According to the Boston Herald, Ellis reportedly signed yesterday with the Patriots on a 1 year contract. With Ellis coming, I wanted to get an opinion on this player from someone who has covered him for a long time. Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential will share his thoughts on Shaun Ellis.
Before I bring you Mr. Leberfeld’s opinion, I wanted to give you a little background on this player. Ellis came to the Jets in 2000 from the University of Tennessee. He is 6 feet, 5 inches tall, and weighs 290 pounds. Ironically, he was taken with the first round pick the Patriots gave the Jets for Bill Belichick.
Shaun Ellis had success against the Patriots during New England’s playoff loss, and had been the longest tenured player with the Jets. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Ellis has been a fixture on the Jets line for a very long time, and has some very impressive statistics. In his career, he has 72.5 sacks and 499 tackles. Last regular season he had 4.5 sacks along with 36 tackles.
Patriots fans probably remember how much of an impact he made in last year’s play-off game. He had 2 sacks and 5 tackles. He was very disruptive, and certainly made a difference in the Jets 28-21 victory against the Patriots.
I have admired this player for a long time. He has been a constant on the Jets defense for more than a decade. However, I was curious to find out, how he was viewed by someone who covered him writing about the Jets.
Many readers could be familiar with Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential. Not only does he have his own website, but he can be heard on Sirius NFL Radio on his regular shows, on the weekend. Also, you can see him often on Sports Sunday on Comcast SportsNet New England, during the Conference Call segment.
Dan has also contributed to several of my articles when discussing the Jets. So, I reached out to him to get his thoughts on Shaun Ellis.
Said Leberfeld: “Excellent signing by New England. The Jets are a worse defense without him. The Patriots know darn well how good he is because he dominated them in the playoffs last year.
“He is 34 (check this), but he really hasn’t lost much. He is quick, tough and athletic. The only concern might be a knee he was hobbling around on last year, but I’m sure the Pats checked it thoroughly.”
I think the signing of Ellis could have a huge positive impact on this defense. My only concern I had was his age. However, after reading Mr. Leberfeld’s comments, and his thoughts on Ellis, I feel even more comfortable about what he can possibly bring to the team.
There have been several players that have been very effective in their thirties on rushing the passer. Players like Michael Strahan and Charles Haley made impacts on their defenses as they were winding down their careers.
Ellis could be that type of player that the Patriots have been missing for a few seasons. Now with Wilfork, Haynesworth, and Ellis all together, the Patriots pass rush might take a huge leap forward.
A special thanks to Dan Leberfeld for giving his time to give his thoughts on Shaun Ellis. You can also follow him on twitter at jetswhispers. Dan can also be heard on “Press Coverage” Saturday Mornings from 11 AM – 2PM EST on Sirius NFL Radio.