Sealver Siliga Emerging As New England Patriots’ Best Run Defender
Nobody would know it, but New England Patriots defensive tackle Sealver Siliga is really starting to come on as a run defender. Not only does the film prove it, but the number of snaps Siliga played against the Miami Dolphins (38 out of 63) does as well. Matt Patricia is starting to trust Siliga as his primary nose tackle.
Siliga virtually came out of nowhere. He signed with the Denver Broncos in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Utah. Siliga was seen as just a depth player who could be used as a situational run-stuffer. The defensive tackle certainly had the size for it at 6-foot-2, 330 pounds.
Despite not having very many fans, Siliga spent his first two NFL seasons in Denver. Then, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for offensive guard John Moffitt. Moffitt was considered to be the better player in that trade, but he retired soon after. Siliga, meanwhile, was waived 11 days later.
And that is where Bill Belichick came in. Belichick decided to take a flier on Siliga, signing the defensive tackle on October 22. Siliga was initially seen as a depth signing to back up Isaac Sopoaga at nose tackle. That is not what has happened, however.
Siliga has outplayed Sopoaga thus far. Each week, Patricia has increased Siliga’s snaps while decreasing Sopoaga’s snaps. In fact, Sopoaga only played 15 snaps against the Dolphins which makes Siliga the primary nose tackle for the team. Having Siliga at that position might not be a long-term solution, but Belichick must at least consider carrying Siliga as depth in the future.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.