|Tavon Wilson shows he can ‘play with a lot of confidence’||09.11.12 at 9:59 am ET|
FOXBORO — Tavon Wilson has shown two traits key to be a rookie contributor in the Patriots defensive scheme. He is a quick learner and plays fearlessly. Two traits that Bill Belichick saw in him on film at Illinois and why he chose to use a second round pick on him in April’s draft.
Wilson had a chance to show off those traits and play more than many expected in the season opener on Sunday in Nashville.
With Patrick Chung seeing limited playing time in the two weeks leading up to the season opener because of a shoulder injury on Aug. 20 against the Eagles, the rookie safety out of Illinois played some strong safety, coming up to help in coverage on Titans tight end Jared Cook and helping in run support on Chris Johnson.
“He’s got good size, he’s a physical player, he runs well, I think he’ll mix it up in the running game and can blitz; can do those types of things,” Belichick said of his rookie safety. “He’s done a decent job for us at that. He’s still learning. It’s kind of a new position for him but he’s picked it up okay. We’ll see how it goes.”
“I think it went well,” Wilson said Monday. “It was great that we got the win. That’s the most important thing, that we got the win. It’s always great to win. Now, we’re on to Arizona.”
Ironically, his biggest play came in the passing game when Jake Locker tried to go deep for Nate Washington in the second quarter. Kyle Arrington was in coverage in the end zone and the ball careened off Arrington’s face mask and into the hands of Wilson.
“It just happened to be an interception,” said Wilson, who had three tackles and an assist in his first NFL game. “Right place at the right time I guess. It was a good play. Something that just happened. I wouldn’t say it’s a big relief. It was good to have. It was something good to have.
“I just kept running. If you run to the ball, great things happen for you.”
Something else that’s not just good to have but essential to success in the NFL is confidence.
“I just feel like I go out there and play with a lot of confidence, regardless,” Wilson said. “Even if you’re making those plays at defensive back, you have to go out there and play with a lot of confidence. That’s something I pride myself on is going out there and playing with a lot of confidence every single play.
“It was a team effort. It was a team effort containing all those guys. We just went out there and gave it a good team effort. We did a pretty good job on him. But that’s behind us now and it’s on to Arizona.”
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