Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 7/9/13

Dannell Ellerbe was one of the Dolphins' most notable additions in an offseason that they (figuratively) went for broke.

Although the ex-Ravens linebacker had many free agent suitors, he took his talents to Miami with a familiar rival in mind.

"I was brought here to help knock [the Patriots] off," Ellerbe told CBS' Mike Freeman. "That doesn't mean we will, but we feel like we can. Like I said, we just have to prove it. You have to actually go do it."

Most recently, Ellerbe helped knock the Pats off in the 2012 AFC Championship Game. He's eager to have a repeat experience, but knows actions ultimately speak loudest.

“I think they are but you have to prove it, you can’t just talk about it,” Ellerbe said.

The Pats have captured the AFC East crown a whopping 10 times since 2001, including the last four straight seasons. But they don't appear to be the superpower of years past, with players aging (Tom Brady), hurting (Rob Gronkowski), or long gone (Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead).

Ellerbe sees these weaknesses -- particularly the loss of Hernandez -- as something his new team can exploit.

“Losing a starter always hurts and losing a starter as good as [Hernandez] was will really hurt,” he said. “I don’t think you can say the Patriots are the same as before after what happened to Hernandez.”

Confidence is sky high in South Florida, and perhaps rightly so. This Dolphins squad, on paper, is stacked at several positions and appears poised to make some noise. However, as long as Brady is playing, the Patriots will continue to be tabbed as the AFC East heavyweight. It'll be up to the Fins to change that.

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