The New England Patriots made a bunch of signings in the second wave of free agency. Among them was Mike Pennel. The former New York Jets nose tackle was signed to a deal to help replenish some of the depth the team lost on the interior defensive line following Malcom Brown's deal with the New Orleans Saints.
Pennel is excited about the opportunity to join the Patriots, and he opened up about the chance in an interview with Patriots.com.
Having the opportunity here is the most exciting thing that could happen to me right now. So, I’m just ready to get to work.
Pennel also went on to praise the Patriots' culture and cited that as one of the reasons he came to the team.
It’s a winning culture. They do things a certain way and they get results and, you know, I want to fall into that culture and be an asset to that culture.
The winning culture is something that draws a lot of players to New England, and with good reason. After all, the Patriots have won six Super Bowls since 2001 and they have appeared in three straight as well. They haven't missed the playoffs since 2008, the last year they failed to win the AFC East.
Pennel will have a chance to win a starting job at defensive tackle with the Patriots. Last season, he played in 16 games for the Jets with seven starts and totaled 27 tackles, functioning mainly as a strong run defender.
Pennel's path to a big role in the team's defense will be made easier if Danny Shelton doesn't return. Shelton, a rotational run defender last year, recently met with the Bengals in free agency.
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