FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With today's surprising news that the Patriots have released cornerback Leigh Bodden, the spotlight figures to shine brighter on Antwaun Molden, his likely replacement.
When Bodden was held out of the Oct. 2 game in Oakland, Molden played a season-high 30 snaps as the third cornerback (he was outside, with Kyle Arrington in the slot). It's an important role when considering the Patriots have been in a sub defense (5 or more defensive backs) for 60 percent of their snaps.
Molden (6-1, 198) is a four-year veteran who is in his first year with the Patriots. On Sept. 24, he was featured in ESPNBoston.com's weekly "football journey" series (link here), which details more about his background.
This season, his primary role has been as the sixth defensive back in the dime package. He also plays on the punt return and kickoff coverage unit (5 tackles, 2nd on team).
Molden answered a few questions in the locker room today:
Safe to assume more playing time at cornerback with Bodden out?
"I don't really know."
How do you feel your first year with the Patriots has been going?
"I think it's going pretty good. I just keep taking it day by day, keep working hard at the little things. We can all get better, that's Bill Belichick's motto."
Toughest adjustments coming to New England after being waived by Houston?
"I'm pretty sure everyone has the same problem, especially when you're married. It's a business, it's the NFL, so you come up away from your family and stuff. But I'm not the only one. I know a lot of others who do the same thing."
Thoughts on the cornerback group?
"I think we're pretty good. I think the camaraderie and chemistry is there, the rapport."
With change in group with Leigh Bodden being released, does that affect things?
"Not really, because everybody has a responsibility and the next guy is going to have to step up."