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Sands speaks, casts large shadow

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  October 1, 2009 12:48 PM

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FOXBOROUGH --- While there was a dearth of available players in the Patriots' locker room during the open media session today at Gillette Stadium, there was one player who could not hide even if he tried. That was veteran free agent Terdell Sands, a mammouth defensive lineman who signed a two-year deal Monday after being released from the Raiders' roster before the start of the regular season.

Sands, who could quite possibly be the largest (if not tallest) human being to don a Patriots uniform, said he was 6-feet-8-inches tall and weighed 355 pounds.The Patriots' roster, however, shortchanged him by about an inch and some 20 pounds, listing Sands at 6-7, 335.

Here's some of the excerpted comments from his brief locker room chat:

How long do you think it'll take you to pick up the defense?
Terdell Sands:About a week or two. It's not that hard. It's almost the same terms we had with Rob Ryan, so it's not that hard.
You signed a two-year deal? Does that give you confidence going forward that it's not just a [temporary] thing?
TS:
Yeah, it gives me confidence knowing that you just have to keep working and it gives you confidence to contribute to the Patriots winning more.
Do you know any of the Patriots?
TS:
I know [Randy] Moss and [Derrick] Burgess when they played with me at the Raiders. They're about the only two that I know.
Outside of the Patriots, did you work out for any other teams?
TS:
I was scheduled to go to Cincinnati, but that was about it.
Will your pad level be an issue?
TS:
It's because I'm a tall guy. I always say that if I was three inches [shorter], I'd still be a tall guy, that's the way I look at it.
Was it emotional waiting around for a job and waiting for a workout?
TS:
It's not emotional. It's just more if it's going to happen and when it's going to happen. You've been around the game and you know somebody's going to get hurt. With roster's already made since training camp, it's just going to take time, so you have to be patient.
Any impressions of Vince Wilfork?
TS:
You always watch the noseguards when you play the same position they play. He's a good guy. You watch his technique and stuff and how he gets off the ball. There's something you can learn from watching everybody who plays the same position you play, especially when they're shorter, I can work on my knee bend.
What position will you play in the 4-3 or 3-4?
TS:
Whatever they ask me to play, I will play. I have no preference. Just depends on the scheme of the week.
When did you start playing football?
TS:
Probably when I was about 9-10 years old.
We're you always tall for your age?
TS:
I didn't have a growth spurt until I was about my 10th-11th grade in high school. Until then, I was probably average height with the rest of the guys.
Do you like being the biggest guy in the room?
TS:
Guys are always wondering how tall I am. I got a shirt made with ``5-20'' on it. That's my height, so you don't have to ask me no more. Do your math. That'll answer your question, but you have to do some thinking.

Postscript: Sands meant 5-20 as in``5-feet-20-inches.'' You can do the math.

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