New England Patriots slot cornerback Kyle Arrington has to be one of Bill Belichick’s favorite players, because he seems to fit everything that Belichick loves in a player. Arrington works hard, he plays special teams, he’s smart, he’s dependable, and he does his job well despite those who enjoy criticizing him.
Belichick once again praised Arrington at yesterday’s press conference, “A ton, yeah. Kyle is one of our hardest working players. He’s been a very dependable and durable player that’s been out there a lot. He’s taken a lot of snaps. He’s come a long way from the practice squad to playing corner to playing inside in the nickel position. He’s always had a strong role in the kicking game. His reads and techniques and communication and overall understanding of what we’re doing and what our opponents are doing has improved every year. He works hard; he’s in very good condition. His game is improved and his responsibilities have expanded as well. He’s a lot more valuable to us now than he was obviously when he came here but even progressively each year he continues to I’d say, expand his value to the team because of his performance, improvement and also his versatility.”
The coach was specifically asked about Arrington’s development since joining the Patriots, and it’s always telling whenever Belichick gushes this much about a player. I think the only player who has received more words and praise from Belichick this offseason is Devin McCourty, who is the epitome of what the Patriots want at defensive back.
Arrington has a big season ahead of him now that he is in this third year, and let’s hope that he won’t be asked to play on the outside. I am a huge fan of Arrington and believe he is one of the game’s best slot corners, but he’s just abysmal on the outside where he gets burned and loses to bigger receivers regularly. But in the slot, Arrington shows great quickness, is able to blitz, is able to better showcase his excellent run defense, can show off his good ball skills, and he shows good recovery ability when in the middle of the field.