Right tackle Marcus Cannon landed a new deal from the Patriots. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBORO — Marcus Cannon said Wednesday he feels “blessed” to have received a contract extension from the Patriots.
“It doesn’t validate anything,” the right tackle said of the new five-year deal he agreed to earlier in the week, a contract that could keep him in New England for the rest of his career. “I still have to come out here and do things better. There are still things I need to work on.
“But like I was saying, I’m very thankful of the opportunity they’ve given me. I’m very blessed.”
The 6-foot-5, 363-pound Cannon is in his sixth season with the Patriots, and while he struggled at times over the course of his career in New England, it appears that the stability that comes with only playing right tackle has agreed with him. The 28-year-old, who has bounced up and down the offensive line over the course of his career, has been the right tackle since the start of the season, and has done well.
“Marcus is having a good season. He’s been a good player for us,” said Bill Belichick. “Marcus has always done a solid job for us whenever he’s played. I’m glad we have him going forward. He works hard. A quiet kid but he’s very dependable, team oriented. He’s done a good job for us in the running game and the passing game. He’s been a good player.”
There are two other possible reasons behind his improvement: one, he was reunited with Dante Scarnecchia, who returned to work as the offensive line coach this past season. And two, it looks like he dropped some weight, and is lighter on his feet. That helps out when it comes to footwork and technique, especially when it comes to defeating pass rushers off the edge.
“Just changed some stuff here and there,” Cannon said when asked about his weight loss. “We have a great strength and conditioning coach; he helped a lot. Just put some good people in my corner. He helped me be the best I can be.”
When it comes to Scarnecchia, he said the return of the veteran coach has been “great” when it comes to his professional development.
“Just doing everything that he tells us to do as an offensive line and trying to get better every day,” he said. “I just love playing with the guys in this unit. Come in every day, work together. We leave together. We’re a tight-knit group.”
In the end, Cannon said the contract doesn’t necessarily provide validation for he level of work he’s put in over the last few years. But he won’t deny that there’s a sense of comfort that comes with the possibility of him being able to finish his career in New England.
“I’m always trying to get better. There are things I have to work on still. Small things, big things. I’m never just happy with where I’m at,” he said. “[But] I’m thankful they’ve given me this opportunity, and they trust me enough to re-sign me.”
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