Chung glad to be back 'home' with Patriots

Chung glad to be back 'home' with Patriots
April 3, 2014, 4:15 pm
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After five seasons in the NFL - four with the Patriots, including one in particular (2010) that stands out - safety Patrick Chung was out of a job.

The Eagles had signed him from New England after the 2012 season, but things just didn't work out there for Chung under his college head coach, Chip Kelly.

He was released on Mar. 11, just one season in to a three-year deal.

Twenty-three days later he found himself back in a familiar spot - as a member of the Patriots. The team had signed him again.

"I'm glad to be back, man," Chung said in a conference call on Thursday. "I mean, it's like family here. It feels like home. So, glad to be back. Love the fans, love the coaches, love the environment, love the city. So it's like a blessing."

Chung's 2013 season in Philly did nothing to swing his career back in the right direction after a downward trend in 2011 and 2012. He finished his lone Philly season with 59 combined tackles in 12 games. His coverage was still criticized, too. Cutting him saved the Eagles $2.25 million for the upcoming season, and $3.75 million the season following - a pretty easy call for them.

"I can't really tell you why things didn't work out in Philly," Chung said. "I don't make those decisions. But, you know, Philly is a great city and they have a lot of great people there. Great locker room, great coaches."

Chung didn't want to dwell much on his recent past. Perhaps a year away from the only other pro team he knew was a blessing in disguise. Besides, the area is still "home" to him.

"But I feel that now that this has happened, I feel it's a better fit here," Chung said. "I've been here for four years. I know the system, I know the coaches. The coaches are cool. I know most of the players. The locker room has changed but I know most of the players, and it's just a good environment. I've been here for a while and I feel like part of me is home. I'm always going to come back here regardless, I always came back here to help the city regardless of where I was. Now I'm back in the city that gave me the very first chance, the very first opportunity. So I feel like it's home."

After his release, Chung's guess at his future was as good as yours. In the midst of his training, the word came.

"I got the call and I was excited, I was happy, I was relieved, and it was a very, very, very easy decision," Chung said. "So it didn't really take much but I had no idea where I was going, what the plan was for me."

Chung's role on the team is still undetermined. At the most, he could be an integral part of the team's revamped secondary. At the worst (aside from a camp cut), he's added depth in the secondary and special teams.

"I have no expectations," Chung said of his role. "Whatever Bill needs me to do to help this team out, I'll do it. Regardless if it's special teams, regardless if it's defense, whatever my role is here I'm OK with it. I'm in a place where I want to be, that's good for me."