- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (AP) - Shaun Ellis was a dangerous intruder in New England’s backfield when he sacked Tom Brady twice in last season’s playoffs. He was a welcome addition when he walked into the locker room as a member of the Patriots this year.

When he arrived, though, he wasn’t sure how he’d be received by the players he helped beat in January.

“A couple of guys mentioned it, but the team really embraced me when I came here,” Ellis said Wednesday. “I was kind of a little fuzzy about it at first, but they really took me in, man, showed me how they do things around here. It’s been great.”

Another odd meeting is set for Sunday when he looks across the line at Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.


“It’s definitely going to be different for me,” Ellis said. “You just kind of treat it like you do in one of the green-and-white scrimmages (with the Jets). We did scrimmage against each other quite a bit.”

Ellis‘ road out of New York had some friction.

Before last season, he asked for a contract extension, but the Jets cited their policy of having older veterans play out their contracts.

“That was kind of like a slap in the face,” Ellis told The Associated Press then.

So he spent the season with New York, playing in 18 games, including three in the playoffs. A 28-21 win over the Patriots sent the Jets to the AFC championship game where they lost 24-19 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Jets said they wanted Ellis back but offered only the veteran minimum of $910,000 and, Ellis said, refused to increase it substantially when he went back to them for a final offer. They used their first two draft picks on defensive linemen and Ellis signed with the Patriots on Aug. 8.

“I wasn’t hurt,” he said. “It was just a decision that they made that they wanted to go a different route. For me, it was about putting myself in the best situation.”

At the time, Jets coach Rex Ryan said he had “a great deal of respect” for Ellis and “I wish him to be healthy,” but “there’s no way I’m going to wish him well.”

That last quote from the outspoken coach grabbed the attention of some media.

Ellis simply brushed it off before going to practice on Wednesday.

Rex is Rex,” he said. “He’s going to voice his opinion, whether jokingly or being serious. So I just didn’t pay any attention to it. It’s a business decision and it led me here. So I’m here, happy to be here.”

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