We've all heard it. "Defense wins championships." " The New England Patriots defense sucks."
It's gotten to the point where you think the second claim is a part of the first. First of all, the numbers are undeniable. They do give up miles of yards. They give up this and they give up plenty of that. It's all true.
Guess what they don't give up very often? Wins. Just three times in 18 tries has an opponent beat them in the only stat that counts—points. This was pretty much the message Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington was trying to get across Tuesday at Super Bowl Media Day.
"What rankings?" Arrington asked incredulously. "It's postseason. All that stuff goes out the window. You can just throw it all out. Accolades, individual awards, stats; just throw it out. You've got to throw it out the window. It's a fresh start. Basically, anything can happen. You just want to win the first one, concentrate on winning the next one. You're playing in the Super Bowl. We're playing for each other. We just want to go out there and just work as hard as we can and just get the opportunity to get to this point."
It's not like the coaching staff has been feeding the defense some magic potion. It is what it is.
"We are what we put out on the there on game day," offered Arrington. That's what we are. If we go out there and don't play with each other, play as individuals, or just run around out there, then that's what it is. Perception is reality. That's what we see on film."
.To change that picture, the Patriots defense got a heavy dose of leadership. It's appeared to be the right adjustment.
"Vince (Wilfork, defensive tackle) and Jerod (Mayo, linebacker) brought us in and said, 'Hey fellas, anything else doesn't matter as far as any other accolades, or awards you're shooting for. You're in it for the wrong thing.' I can't speak enough about the leadership as far as Vince and Jerod did rallying us. We still have one more task at hand though."
There's just one more question though. The defense still features wide receiver/kick returner/punt returner Julian Edelman at cornerback on way too many key situations. What does a real cornerback think about that.?
"This should be interesting," said Arrington when Edelman was installed at a corner. "But, he's done a great job. He's out there throwing his body around and he's a better tackler than I would have thought. A lot of credit has to go to him in order to take on all these roles. All that extra workload speaks a lot about a guys' professionalism."
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