|New cornerback Antwaun Molden in a rush to pick up Patriots defense||09.07.11 at 2:07 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It’s been a busy week for cornerback Antwaun Molden.
Last Wednesday, the Patriots claimed Molden off waivers from Houston, and he was on a plane to New England that night. He landed shortly after midnight on Sept. 1, and less than 18 hours later, he was on the field for the Patriots playing significant snaps at cornerback in the preseason finale against the Giants.
“It was a crazy experience — I’ve never experienced anything like it,” the 26-year-old Molden said. “That’s my first time being on waivers. But at the end of the day, it was a blessing. I was prepared. I was in shape. Again, it was definitely a blessing for me in that I still had a chance to come out here and compete. Especially being picked off the waiver wire that quick.”
“He’s a big corner,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after the game, when asked what the Patriots liked in Molden. “He’s an athletic guy who can run, and he plays in the kicking game.”
A veteran of three NFL seasons with Houston, he originally joined the Texans as a third round (79th overall) pick out of Eastern Kentucky in 2008. Molden has played in 31 NFL games, mainly on special teams, and struggled with injuries over the course of his career with Houston. He has registered 26 special teams, including 19 special teams as a rookie in 2008.
Over the last two weeks, the New England secondary has been a constantly fluid situation — on Tuesday, the Patriots cut cornerback Darius Butler, and now, Molden is likely competing with rookie Ras-I Dowling for the role of backup corner. (He could get his chance sooner rather than later if the strain that Kyle Arrington suffered in the preseason finale is serious at all.)
The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder, who will wear No. 27, spent cutdown weekend watching film and trying to pick up as much of the New England defense as possible.
“Yeah, most definitely — anytime you come in behind like that, it’s definitely a rush to get up to speed, to get acclimated to the system,” he said. “Just handling each and every bit of information that I get, I’m just taking my time and trying to study it so nothing does come at me as a surprise. That’s the biggest challenge.”
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