New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

CB Kyle Arrington Preparing To Keep Job

Cornerback Kyle Arrington was one of the surprises of the Patriots’ 2010 season. A former undrafted free agent out of Hofstra, Arrington bounced between practice squads with the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining New England’s squad in September of 2009. Added to the 53-man roster midway through that season, Arrington appeared in eight games and finished second on the team in special teams tackles with 18.

When a season-ending injury to Leigh Bodden and inconsistent performance by 2009 second-round pick Darius Butler, Arrington was inserted to the starting lineup in Week 3 of last season. In 14 starts, Arrington totaled 71 tackles and returned his first career interception 36 yards for a touchdown in a 31-27 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Despite being in a fixture in the team’s starting lineup, Arrington understands that competition will always be there in New England, Monique Walker of the Boston Globe reports.

“I feel like I definitely improved from the year before, but there’s always going to be competition, especially with a Bill Belichick team,” Arrington said. “And competition brings out the best in people, and I’m just looking forward to getting back there and playing some ball.”

A healthy Bodden returns, and 2011 can be considered do-or-die years for Butler and 2008 fourth-round pick Jonathan Wilhite. New England also used the 33rd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling, and that quartet of corners will be pushing for one starting job in base defense, as 2010 first-round pick Devin McCourty is coming off a Pro Bowl season.

Even if Arrington does not start, his prowess on special teams should earn him a roster spot. Of his 71 tackles last season, 12 were on special teams and he returned a blocked field for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.

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