Studious Arrington proving to be a real leader
FOXBOROUGH - Cornerback Kyle Arrington knew there were a few things the Patriots wanted him to improve on after last season.
He worked his way into the rotation early in the 2010 season and did everything he could to stay afloat. For all of the things Arrington did well, the Patriots had a little offseason homework for the former Hofstra standout, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2008. Arrington and his fellow defensive backs were encouraged to work on their ball skills and it is clear Arrington did what was asked.
Arrington leads the NFL with four interceptions, his most recent coming in Sunday’s 20-16 win over the Cowboys.
“He came into camp and right from the beginning it was evident that he had worked hard on [ball skills],’’ said coach Bill Belichick. “His ball skills and judgment on the ball and decision-making on high pointing the ball or reaching for it with two hands, knocking it down with one hand - all those kind of things that are little things, but they’re really not little things, that he had worked on and improved on.’’
A variety of workouts helped Arrington prepare, but he said confidence has been the big key.
“When I first started playing the game in high school and college, I was more of a finesse player and had great ball skills and wasn’t much of a tackler or a physical player,’’ Arrington said. “Now it was just like the opposite when I first entered the league. I could have been more aggressive and worked on better ball skills, but you never lose it. It was more of a confidence thing. When I came back this year, instead of just putting my toe in the water, now I’m all in.’’
Interceptions may be a glamorous stat, but Arrington said he is trying to judge himself on other results, including pressuring the quarterback, batting down passes, and tackling for a defense that ranks last against the pass at 322.2 yards per game.
“I don’t read a lot into individual stats,’’ he said. “I try to make every play out there that’s to be made. There’s 11 of us out there and I try to win my individual battle and I trust my teammates to do the same.’’
Brady takes it easy
The Patriots were on the game field at Gillette Stadium yesterday in the first of two scheduled practices during the bye week.
Players were in sweats and shells but not everyone participated. Tom Brady, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, offensive lineman Matt Light, defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, and linebacker Dane Fletcher were not spotted during the media portion of the practice.
Brady likely was given the day off as he was in the locker room interacting with teammates before they took the field yesterday.
Adams back on board
Corner Phillip Adams is back with the Patriots again. Adams re-signed yesterday, filling one of two available spots on the 53-man roster.
Adams originally signed Sept. 21 but has been part of a transaction roller coaster ever since. He was released Oct. 8, re-signed Oct. 13, and released Oct. 14.
Adams, who is 5 feet 11 inches and 192 pounds, was drafted by San Francisco last year in the seventh round out of South Carolina State. He played in 15 games for the 49ers and had 13 total tackles. He has not played in a game for the Patriots.
The Patriots worked out eight players. The names were announced via the team’s Twitter account, the kind of information usually not forthcoming out of Foxborough. The Patriots - like many teams - work out players on a regular basis. The list: wide receivers Britt Davis and Jarred Fayson, kicker Dave Rayner, long snapper Chris Massey, punters Robert Malone and Spencer Lanning, and offensive linemen Phil Trautwein and Robert Brewster . . . The Patriots-Cowboys game earned a 17.1 rating and 31 share, drawing the highest-television rating for a regular season NFL game on Fox since Brett Favre returned to Green Bay in 2009. It was the third highest-rated game on the network in 10 years.