Ring Around The Roster: Hello, Isaiah Stanback

Terry RobinsonSenior Analyst INovember 15, 2009

Please excuse me if I am somewhat out of the loop. I try to stay informed, but I cannot keep up with Bill Belichick. Who can?

First, some kid named Julian Edelman was drafted in the seventh round and looked crazy talented from the start. Belichick saw "versatility" written all over the guy.

A QB at Kent State, Edelman moved to WR for New England and was instantly compared to Wes Welker. We loved him.

Following some impressive games at WR and KR, Edelman suffered a broken forearm against Tennessee and was temporarily shelved.

Enter WR Brandon Tate, a rookie out of North Carolina, activated from the practice squad following Edelman's injury. He performed well in the two games he played, picking up 11 yards on his first-ever play from scrimmage and returning a pair of kickoffs for a respectable 44 yards against Tampa Bay in London.

Last week against Miami, he got his first start and returned two kickoffs for more than 62 respectable yards.

But a scant two games into his NFL career, Tate went down with a knee injury and wound up on IR. I wish him well.

Terrence Nunn seemed the natural choice to sign from the practice squad as Tate's replacement. There were those of us who were surprised that he was overlooked when Tate got the nod in the first place.

Nunn is another rookie, an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska who looked good in training camp.

Today, he is still on the practice squad, and Belichick has elected to activate QB Isaiah Stanback instead.  


I didn't even know this man existed until a few hours ago. Now I know that he is a Patriot.

A third-year player out of Washington, Stanback was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round in 2007.  

During his first year in Dallas, he played exclusively as a kick returner. Last year, he returned some kicks, started a handful of games at WR and caught a couple of passes.

Stanback, 6-2, 208 pounds, was signed to the New England practice squad on Sept. 7 after being waived by Dallas.

Although he played QB in college and is listed as a QB on the Patriots' roster, he looks like a good special teams option who just might get in on offense as a WR as well.

Interestingly, during the week of the Patriots' preparation for the Miami game, Stanback was used in Ronnie Brown's role to get the defense ready.

There is no telling what Belichick has in mind for Stanback, if anything. I expect to see him on special teams.

Edelman practiced this past week for the first time since his injury, but it is unlikely that we will see him for a couple more weeks.

Belichick could be pulling another versatile rabbit out of his hat. He has been known to do it from time to time.

Or maybe Stanback is just another warm body. I will be looking for him against Indianapolis.