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Patriots Week 1 standout Adrian Phillips is a safety in your programs, but a 'linebacker at heart’

On paper, Adrian Phillips is listed as a defensive back on the New England Patriots roster: No. 21, clocking in at 5-foot-11, 210 pounds.

None of that really matters on the field because, as inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo put it Tuesday, Phillips is a “linebacker at heart.”

Phillips was a standout performer for a new-look Patriots defense in Sunday’s win against the Miami Dolphins. The 28-year-old free-agent acquisition helped fill the void in the Patriots' back seven created by players opt-outs. Sure, he definitely helped fill the whole created by the departure of safety Patrick Chung.