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Leading roles for newcomers?

Posted by Albert Breer  May 9, 2010 12:19 PM

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Says who? Mike Sims-Walker, that's who. And if you think it might be hard for a player to have that kind of impact coming in from the outside, remember, Holt was only in Jacksonville for a year.

That, of course, was Sims-Walker's breakout year. The youngster says that part of the reason he grew up in 2009 was the difference in what he saw from guys like Matt Jones, Reggie Williams and Jerry Porter in the past, and what Holt showed him last year.

“With Reggie and Matt, it was all about Sunday, that’s all they worried about,” Sims-Walker told Yahoo's Jason Cole. “With Torry, it was all about doing every little thing you possibly could to be ready for Sunday. Get it right in practice. If you had an extra hour for film study, get in there and do it, even on a Saturday night before a game.

“You had to get it right today because tomorrow wasn’t promised to you. If you dropped a ball in practice, Torry was right there saying, ‘Come on, we gotta pick it up.’ If [quarterback] David [Garrard] threw a bad pass, [Holt] would get on him, too.”

Over the last couple years, there's been a concerted effort on the Patriots' part to get younger. The problem with that, of late, has been getting draft picks right.

Now, Holt and Crumpler aren't going to make your team younger. But they could make your younger players better.

And if they can do that with guys like Gronkowski and Hernandez and Edelman and Price and Tate, well, then their impact could extend far beyond what they do on the field on Sunday.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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