FOXBORO -- With the clock ticking on 2010 second-rounder Jermaine Cunningham, the light appears to have gone on.
Bill Belichick said Tuesday that the defensive endoutside linebacker has had a "great offseason," adding that Cunningham "really worked hard. He looks good."
Given that the offseason has so far consisted of voluntary weightlifting and OTAs, I asked Belichick where improvement can be seen.
"A player's physical improvement, overall mental grasp of what we're doing and what we can see on the field which is non-contact but reactions and technique," Belichick explained.
After starting 11 games as a rookie at outside linebacker in the Patriots 3-4, Cunningham played in just nine games and didn't have a start last year. He was completely and utterly out of the mix as the Patriots went to the 4-3 more often.
What went wrong, Belichick was asked.
"I don't know. I'm sure it was a combination of things," he said. "But whatever happened with any of our players last year whether it was good, bad or indifferent it's not that important. We're trying to move forward and evaluate the team on its current basis.
"We'll see where it takes us this year," Belichick added."It will be up to him, and how he performs, relative to the other players at his position. I think we have good competition there."