Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 1/27/13

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 12: Patrick Chung 25 greets Dane Fletcher 45 and Brandon Spikes 55 of the New England Patriots during the second half of a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on August 12, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Dane Fletcher was going to be a big part in the Patriots plans in 2012, but a knee injury derailed his entire season. The versatile linebacker, who can play inside or outside, gave the Patriots a lot of options in using him. Once he was placed on injured reserve, it was a blow to the Patriots defense. Brandon Spikes had to stay on the field more on passing downs and isn't a particular strength of his. Fletcher has been rehabbing his knee and is feeling good, the Patriots are very interested in bringing back the former undrafted free agent. Fletcher talked about the Patriots and his strong interest to return to Foxboro. "I love this team and coach (Bill) Belichick is a great coach," Fletcher said. "It’s a great opportunity. We’ll see where the cards lay out. But you never know how that will unfold," via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. "I’m just putting everything into next year and trying to have the best year possible," Fletcher said. "I’m going to fully take care of this thing," said Fletcher, who remained at Gillette Stadium throughout his recovery process. "I’ll get a full offseason in and training camp, at least in my own mind." "It was just a frustrating year for me," Fletcher said. "I just found motivation for what I could for next year, tried to support my team as much as I could, be around, help the younger guys for whatever that is worth and then get better on my own end and watch film. "I’m happy with how far I’ve come this year, even though it’s not on the field. Hopefully that pertains to next year, whether it’s here or wherever it may be." Related articles 2012 New England Patriots Defensive Positional Review (nepatriotsdraft.com) Fletcher Predicts Pats-49ers Super Bowl (redskins.com) Patriots "Highly Interested" in Darrelle Revis, But Don't Get Your Hopes Up (patspulpit.com) var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
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