The Patriots' OLB situation has been a point of contention all offseason, and it has taken a turn through the first few weeks of the preseason. With a few guys banged up or disappointing to date, Marques Murrell — whose signing barely caused a ripple this offseason — has emerged as a real candidate to not only make the team but also earn some playing time. It must be said that it is far too early to project a pecking order yet, and we shouldn't get too excited about Murrell's sack of Saints QB Drew Brees in the preseason opener. But Murrell showed last season with the Jets that he has the ability to put heat on the quarterback, albeit in very limited snaps in 2009. Rob Ninkovich is still in the mix to start, as is good-looking second-round pick Jermaine Cunningham. But don't count out Murrell, who could be the next in the long line of lesser-known players who found expanded-role success in New England under Bill Belichick.
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