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Chung working to get it right this time

Posted by Albert Breer  June 8, 2010 01:14 PM

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The fact that he didn't go two picks higher afforded Chung the chance to develop in the shadows more than he would have had he gone in the first 32 picks, since the spotlight naturally shines brighter on those first-rounders.

So he learned without the pressure of having to play a monstrous number of snaps, and took a valuable lesson, given the high-energy style he employed at Oregon.

"Relax. Relax. Everybody has to relax," he said, smiling. "If you’re straight with what you’re doing, then you can relax and just play. ... You gotta learn to relax, learn to slow down, and it all comes from knowing your playbook. If you don’t know your playbook, then you’re gonna be tense. If you know your playbook, it’s just like you’re playing football."

That's the goal for Chung -- to get back to playing football when the lights are on. He knows he's in a crowded fight for playing time with the other safeties (Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Brandon McGowan), but his progress was evident yesterday in the first-team reps he took, even wearing the red non-contact jersey.

That came from spending the offseason working to get more comfortable with his surroundings as a pro and, like he said, the playbook.

Asked if his rookie year sets a foundation, the Patriots' top draft pick in 2009 responded, "It does, but I honestly feel that’s over. Last season’s over."

And given this kid's history, it seems like this season can't get here fast enough.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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