New England Patriots rookie linebacker Elandon Roberts broke out during the team’s emphatic 33-13 victory against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The University of Houston product led New England with 7 tackles, including 1 for a loss. Roberts tackled Browns running back Isaiah Crowell 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage after plowing through Cleveland’s 6-foot-6, 312-pound tackle Joe Thomas.
Adelanto. No sé cuántas veces alguien habrá conseguido sentar de esta forma a Joe Thomas. Con todos ustedes, Elandon Roberts! pic.twitter.com/48yKlDCM0M
— Pablo Fernández (@PabloFR_) October 11, 2016
The Patriots only used a sixth-round pick to claim Roberts this offseason. On a Tuesday conference call, head coach Bill Belichick admitted he had no idea who Roberts was when he first noticed him while scouting a Houston game against Navy last season. Belichick was initially evaluating Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, now a wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens, when Roberts “made a ton of plays,” according to Belichick. “I kept noticing the linebacker from Houston. He blitzed and just showed up a lot, he ran well.” Roberts’ performance in that Nov. 27 game? The linebacker had 4.5 tackles for a loss, 7 overall tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Roberts cycled through the Patriots’ regular linebacking rotation for the first time in Cleveland, playing 31 of the 63 defensive snaps. Jamie Collins (52) was the only New England linebacker to play more snaps. Roberts’ play allowed New England to limit Dont’a Hightower to only 29 snaps as the starter deals with a bum right knee he injured in the first quarter of the Patriots’ Week 1 victory against the Arizona Cardinals.