Belichick commends Arrington's improved ball skills

Belichick commends Arrington's improved ball skills
October 18, 2011, 4:40 pm
Share This Post

FOXBORO -- Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington recorded his fourth interception of the season on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. And even after New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis' two picks on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins, Arrington's four interceptions lead the entire NFL through six weeks of the regular season.

Bill Belichick spoke Tuesday about what's gone right so far for Arrington this year. He said the biggest adjustment in the CB's game has come in his ball-handling skills.

"Some of the things that we talked about to Kyle at the end of the season, after the 2010 season, were things that he needed to work on and areas that he needed to improve," said Belichick. "Any defensive back . . . can always improve their ball skills.

"As an offensive player, as a receiver, you get dozens of balls thrown to you at every practice and individual drills and 7-on-7, team drills, after practice and jugs machine, all those things. Defensively, it's a different story. You don't get very many opportunities to handle the ball. Maybe a couple opportunities in the beginning of practice in individual-type drills. Usually that's with the coach throwing to you, which is generally not the same as an NFL quarterback.

"Your opportunities to catch the ball are limited in practice. So it's something that you have to do more on your own, or the coach or somebody else has to set up a drill and have balls thrown to you to work on your ball skills, or the jugs machine. That's one of the things we talked to Kyle about last year, for something he should work in the offseason on, was playing the ball, handling the ball more, his overall ball skills. And obviously he's done that.

"He came into camp . . . and right from the beginning, it evident that he had worked hard on that and his ball skills, and his judgment on the ball, and his decision-making on high-pointing the ball, and reaching with two hands and not one hand," added Belichick. "All those things are little things, but they're really not little things, that he had worked on and improved on, and they showed up from the beginning of training camp."