By: Steve Balestrieri
The New England Patriots focused on situational football in their practice on Tuesday, according to Bill Belichick during his earlier press conference, to prepare for their Thursday night matchup with the Detroit Lions.
Belichick said that the team would treat Tuesday like they would a regular season Friday and conducted the practice in shorts and shells.
Five players not spotted at practice, included WRs Danny Amendola, and Mark Harrison, TE Rob Gronkowski, CB Brandon Jones, as well as DL Jermaine Cunningham and Armond Armstead.
If Amendola isn’t able to go on Thursday night, he’ll be replaced with a combination of either Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce who were all taking snaps at Amendola’s normal position during the media portion of practice.
Marcus Cannon, Ras-I Dowling as well as Harrison worked out training staff on the lower fields and were limited in their participation.
Belichick on Arrington- During his press conference Belichick raved about the progression of CB Kyle Arrington since he arrived in Foxboro. After practice Arrington was asked about the comments and he responded with a big smile.
“Wow, as to our relationship, it doesn’t matter whether it’s me or Tom Brady or a guy on the practice squad, he expects a high degree of play and the utmost professionalism,” he said.
Arrington added, “My goal is improve every day because there is always something to improve on.” Touching upon Belichick’s comments that Arrington has made tremendous strides since 2009, Arrington said, “I’m blessed, looking back in retrospect I was a little wet behind the ears but I think we can all learn every day.”
Asked if he considers himself one of the leaders of the defense, Arrington said, “We’re blessed to leaders like Tom (Brady), Vince (Wilfork) I find it’s very easy to fall in line with those guys, me…I try to lead by letting my play do the talking.”
Asked about the weekly opponents starting with the Eagles and DeSean Jackson, followed by Vincent Jackson and the Bucs and now to Calvin Johnson and the Lions, Arrington smiled, “They don’t make it easier do they?” he said to laughs.
“You need to really know where he is on the field at all times. Speed, quickness, hands, length,….he’s one of the ultimate tests we’ll get on the field this Thursday.”
The Patriots will travel tomorrow and will play the Lions in Detroit on Thursday night.