‘Rejuvenated’ Leigh Bodden says working with Devin McCourty will be ‘fun this year’
|07.31.11 at 6:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Leigh Bodden had to watch from afar last year as rookie Devin McCourty had one of the best seasons ever by a rookie cornerback in NFL history. Now, after rehabbing from surgery on a torn rotator cuff, he gets the chance to work with him on the field and in games.
Bodden signed with the Patriots before the 2009 season and had a big impact, starting 14 of 15 games played, with five picks and two fumble recoveries. He was considered one of the more reliable corners in the Patriots secondary and earned a starting role at the all-important right corner position.
Then he hurt himself in the preseason last year and missed the entire 2010 season. He had surgery and was essentially limited to tweeting his progress and how much he missed his Patriots teammates.
“I’m definitely rejuvenated. I’m just glad to be back out here. I’m ready to go, 100 percent. All I can do is keep going, put a good Leigh Bodden out there and just try to stay healthy.”
While not referencing McCourty directly, he clearly is excited about getting the chance to be one of the senior members of the Patriots secondary – along with James Sanders – and help bring along rookie Ras-I Dowling and third-year players Darius Butler and Kyle Arrington.
“It’s just great to play with all these guys,” Bodden said. “That’s the reason why I wanted to be back here, to be a part of this secondary. There’s a lot of good guys here, not only talent-wise, but on a personal level. It’s great to be out there working with those guys. It’s going to be fun this year.”
And there figures to be more pressure placed on the Patriots secondary, with the likely possibility that the Patriots play more four-man fronts to get more pressure on the quarterback and go with nickel packages deploying five defensive backs.
A lot of that, of course, has to do with the addition of Albert Haynesworth up front on defense.
“You know what, hopefully he can bring a great attitude and a winning attitude and help us win,” Bodden said. “I’m sure everybody wants to do that in the league but hopefully he can help us and he’s working to help us and that’s why he’s here.”