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Jermaine Cunningham: ‘Try to get better’ this offseason

05.23.11 at 4:27 pm ET

Jermaine Cunningham gets after Mark Sanchez last season. (AP)

NORTON — Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham was aware the Patriots did not decide to take a pass rusher in the early round of the 2011 draft. But Cunningham, a second-round pick in the 2010 draft who ended his rookie season with 41 tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack in part-time duty, shrugged Monday when he was asked what he thought about it.

“It’s the draft, you know? It goes however,” said Cunningham before teeing off at the Joe Andruzzi Foundation Golf Tournament at TPC Boston. “I’m just trying to get better. Whatever happens, happens.”

Based on his contributions as a rookie, it’s reasonable to think that the Florida product could end up being that impact pass rusher the Patriots have looked for on the outside the last two seasons. He was banged up at the end of the 2010 season — late in the year, he was suffering from some lower leg injuries, which may or may not have impacted his play down the stretch.

However, Cunningham said that at this point, he feels good with where he is physically. He’s continued to work out locally instead of returning to his home state of Florida, and said that things have been “going good … going real good” for him this offseason.

“I’ve been here. Workouts have been good,” said Cunningham, who started 11 of the 15 games he played as a rookie. “This is where I’m playing, so I might as well [stay here].

“You just go like it’s the regular season. Try to get better,” he added. “It’s going good — that’s all I can say, man.”

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