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Versatile Patriots Rookie Joe Thuney Always Puts Team First

BOSTON (CBS) -- If you thought Jacoby Brissett sounded like a true New England Patriot during his first media session, wait until you hear his NC State teammate, offensive lineman Joe Thuney.

New England's third-round pick hits every point on the Patriots' checklist, bringing versatility, smarts and a team-first attitude to the offensive line. So don't be too surprised when Thuney becomes a favorite of Bill Belichick and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia -- if he hasn't already.

Thuney played all five positions on the offensive line at NC State, and said he's up for that role for one simple reason: It's for the best of the team.

"I'm just trying to put the team first. That's something that coach Belichick and the whole organization has preached," Thuney said Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. "The team is bigger than me and anything I can do to contribute to benefit the team I am willing to do."

He admitted that such versatility takes a lot of practice and repetition, not to mention hours of studying the playbook to nail down the assignments of all five positions, but it comes easy to Thuney.

"It just comes through hard work," he said, more than up to any challenge Belichick and Scarnecchia throw his way. "Being a professional football player is a lot of hard work. Put the time in and it's a big commitment and I'm down for it."

It also helps that the man he occasionally snapped the ball to at NC State is along for the ride.

"It has been great. He's a great teammate," Thuney said of Brissett. "He's got all of the things that you would want in a quarterback. He's a leader, he's a great guy and I couldn't be happier that he's here.

"You love playing for him. He'll help any football team that he's on," said Thuney, adding his work ethic and his desire to win are the QB's best attributes. "You can always just see it in his eyes and he puts in extra work. He's just that guy you want to play with."

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