New England linebacker Dane Fletcher views football, and life, differently these days.
He knows that surviving a team's final roster cuts as other Patriots free agents did on Friday is no guarantee that a player will be around for long. And being sidelined for a full season doesn't mean a player can't keep learning the game.
As those cuts approached two years ago, an assistant coach told the undrafted Fletcher that a player could be cut one day after earning a roster spot. That told the rookie free agent he had to keep working very hard.
And now that he's on injured reserve and facing knee surgery, he's focusing his efforts on attending team meetings and watching film so he can keep learning and be ready when he's healthy again.