Elandon Roberts' NSFW explanation of new role as three-way player

Ryan Hannable
December 22, 2019 - 9:37 am
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FOXBOROUGH -- Due to injuries at the fullback position, Elandon Roberts has turned into a true three-way player.

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The first-time captain came into the league as a linebacker, then added special teams to his skill set and now is on offense. Against the Bills Saturday, Roberts logged two defensive snaps, three special teams snaps and 21 offensive snaps, including leading the way on Rex Burkhead's game-winning touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

How would Roberts describe his playing style on both sides of the ball?

“I run through a mother(expletive)’s face,” he said to reporters after the game. “Offense, defense, special teams — whatever you want. I think that’s why Bill (Belichick) likes me. Y’all should ask Bill.”

Roberts seems to have a good theory on why Belichick likes him.

“Because sometimes, I hit people, and he don’t tell me nothing, but he just gives me a little grin,” he said. “And then I walk by him, and he don’t say nothing. I think I’m the only person in practice he won’t say (expletive) to, like, (among) the starters. … He don’t ever tell me nothing, so he must like me.”

The Patriots have ran the ball much better the last two weeks. After recording a season-high 175 yards against the Bengals last week, they finished with 143 yads against Buffalo, including a season-high 96 yards from Sony Michel.

Roberts has helped with that.

“Ain’t nobody coming downhill like (our linebackers),” he said. “Ain’t nobody coming downhill like (Dont’a) Hightower, Jamie (Collins), me, (Ja’Whaun Bentley) — nobody. So if they want to stop getting their pressure, they can come downhill. And if they don’t come downhill, I’m going to hit them in their mother(expletive) mouth. That’s my job.”

Roberts has embraced his new role on the other side of the ball.

“I like it because you’re playing for the guy next to you,” he said. “Every week, that O-line grinds. Every week, Sony grinds, Rex grinds, James (White) grinds. And when it’s time to run the ball, I know the work they put in when I’m on the opposite side on defense, so I don’t want to disappoint them when I come in. Even though I’m just trying to come in and help, I want to make sure I’m still giving that same juice that they give.”

But with that being said, he still prefers his natural position of linebacker because making a big tackle feels better than delivering a big block.

“A tackle, hell yeah," Roberts said. "Because when you’re blocking people, (fans) don’t even say, ‘Oooh.’ They look at Sony running through the hole and cheer for Sony. But when I hit a mother(expletive) on defense, (expletive) is violent.”

Related: Julian Edelman details his eventful game vs. Bills