Bedard: Belichick told him he’d get an opportunity, and now Terrence Brooks is pushing for playing time

(Nic Ataya/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE — After previous stops with the Ravens, Eagles and Jets, safety Terrence Brooks knew pretty much from his first day with the Patriots that his new home could be different.

"Since Day 1, talking with Bill (Belichick) when I came in, he said, ‘The opportunity is there,’" Brooks told "And that’s all I’ve needed, that’s all I’ve been begging for all the years I’ve been in the league ... just the opportunity."

Up until this season, Brooks has pretty much just been known as a special teams standout. Of the 1,700 snaps he's played since being a third-round pick of the Ravens in 2014, all but 468 have come on special teams — and 236 of those defensive snaps came his rookie season.

But with New England, which is the NFL's Land of Opportunity, Brooks has been given a real chance to earn defensive playing time. And judging from his usage in this week's joint practices, Brooks appears to be pushing for a de-facto starting spot — perhaps at the expense of a tenured veteran.

In the past couple of weeks, we've seen certain players receive increased roles progressively in training camp — from Dan Skipper and Jakobi Meyers early on, to Shilique Calhoun in the last week. Now it appears to be Brooks' opportunity.

Every time the Patriots' first-team defense took the field against the Titans, Brooks was