Leigh Bodden eager to show stuff

 

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If and when the collective bargaining agreement is finally resolved and NFL labor peace is achieved, Leigh Bodden will be anxious to get back on the field and test out his shoulder.

 

The Patriots [team stats] veteran cornerback, who missed last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, told Sirius NFL Radio yesterday that his rehabilitation was going extremely well.

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“I was thinking to myself the other day, ‘Man, I’m ready for some action. I’m ready to play,’ ” Bodden said. “I haven’t played in a year, so I’m eager to get out there and do some things. Footwork, use this arm, jam some people up. But (it will happen) soon enough. The longer I have to heal, the better it is. But it’s really feeling good. I still continue to rehab every day, but it’s feeling great.”

Bodden, who signed a four-year, $22 million contract prior to last season, said he wanted to earn his money, and make good on the faith the Pats showed by signing him to a long-term deal.

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“If the lockout thing blows over, and we get to play football,” said Bodden, “I’ll be excited to come back and earn that contract, and earn that money the Patriots gave me.”

 

While Bodden hated sitting out, he did get a chance to watch rookie Devin McCourty develop into a Pro Bowl corner.

 

“It was definitely difficult for me personally to sit out and not play football, the game that I love, the game that I’ve been playing forever. But to watch as a fan, to watch the season that (the Patriots) had, it was just amazing to watch guys like Devin McCourty grow up in a heartbeat,” Bodden said.

 

“You can never say, ‘This guy is going to be great or this guy is going to be this good,’ but when he first came, he made a few plays where I was amazed and shocked and like, ‘Man, he’s going to be a player.’ Me, personally, I didn’t think he would be as good as he was during the season, but like I told a lot of those young guys, ‘When you get that playing experience on the field, you just learn on the go.’ ”

 

Bodden said the one element that really separated McCourty from other rookies was his intelligence.

 

“He’s a very smart player. He’s a smart player, and that’s the thing that some rookies don’t have, is the knowledge of the game,” Bodden said. “That’s the majority of football, especially as you get older, not going off your athletic ability anymore. It’s knowing the game. And he knew that coming in. And he had athletic talent. So that just propelled him to have the great season that he had.”

 

Bodden, who has been working out in Maryland, took part in a youth management seminar there last night.

 

***

 

The Patriots announced the hiring of Moses Cabrera as assistant strength and conditioning coach. He will work alongside Harold Nash, who was promoted to the top job following Mike Woicik’s departure to Dallas.

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