For the first time, Brian Waters will line up opposite the team where he made his mark in the NFL, as the Chiefs visit his New England Patriots on Monday night.
Waters spent 11 years working against guys in red during practice, but this weekend is another chapter in the Waters’ journey. He’s traveled from undrafted rookie signed by Dallas as a tight end, to the Chiefs who made him a guard and he went on to achieve Pro Bowl status. Then, this summer he was released by the Chiefs and eventually signed with the Patriots.
Now, the Chiefs and Patriots face each other.
“It’s not one of those things where there is anger,” Waters told the New England media on Friday. “I have great respect for those guys. I love a lot of those guys personally. But I’m a Patriot now, and I’m here to try to win football games and be a productive part of this football team. That’s something I take pride in. I always try to take pride in the job I do, and this week is no different.”
The end of Waters’ career with the Chiefs has remained a bit of a mystery. Once the lockout ended, he spoke with GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley and either asked, or was told that his time with the Chiefs was over. He was simply released.
“I think it ended well,” Waters said of the divorce from the Chiefs. “I think it ended the way it was supposed to. Honestly, it was a mutual decision between both parties and I think both parties are happy. I know I’m excited about where I am and how I’m playing and the guys I’m playing with. I think they’re excited about the guys they have in my place, those young offensive linemen who are now really starting to grow into and turn into the guys I knew they already were. I think it’s ended up well.”
When asked whether it should have ended as it did, Waters was philosophical.
“That’s the NFL,” he said. “To be able to stay in one place for your entire career, it’s unheard of these days. Honestly, it was time for me to go where I needed to go, and it was time for them to do what they needed to do. And for them, to do what they need to do.
“Again, it was a mutual decision and I think both parties are happy about the way it went. It definitely wasn’t one of those situations where anybody ended up mad or angry about the decision, not at all.”
New England coach Bill Belichick has nothing but good things to say about his right guard. “Brian has done a great job for us,” Belichick said. “He’s been a real good addition to our football team in so many ways. I couldn’t say enough positive things about him, what he’s brought here.”
Waters has started all nine games this season at right guard with the Patriots. He did leave the field last Sunday night for a half-dozen plays after apparently injuring a knee.