Pats cornerback Kyle Arrington spent some time this afternoon meeting fans and talked about the realities of life during the lockout.
Wearing a short-sleeved grey t-shirt and jeans, Arrington said he's been working out primarily in his home state if Maryland, mixing basketball with the usual weights and other drills. He's also been spending time with his family and fiancee.
It's different than last year, when Arrington and many of the other New England players were in the Foxborough area by now, taking part in the team's offseason workout program and looking forward to organized team activities (OTAs).
When the NFL does resume as normal again, Arrington, who became a starter last season opposite Devin McCourty, will find himself in a new position: while not too long ago he was fighting to prove he deserved a roster spot, now he'll be fighting to show he should stay as a starter when Leigh Bodden returns from the shoulder injury that had him on the shelf for all of 2010.
"Competition," Arrington said. "It's great competition. With Bill (Belichick), whoever is playing well that's who's going to play - there's no favoritism with him. It was a great learning experience for me last year."
As for staying informed on labor happenings, Arrington gets updates from his player reps (Matt Light is the Pats' lead rep) as well as his agents.
Like all players, Arrington is paying for his training instead of receiving a workout bonus or a small stipend for taking part in offseason workouts. He acknowledged at everyone is losing money because of the lockout, but said he doesn't think players will start to get nervous until they start losing game checks, if the lockout lasts into the regular season.
In the meantime, he and his teammates keep in touch and see each other when they can - this weekend Arrington is staying with Devin McCourty, who is in town for some charity basketball games (McCourty has been working out at his alma mater, Rutgers).
"We've all tried not to talk about (the lockout) and just proceed as if everything is on schedule," Arrington said. "As far as training, no one has lost a step."