Four questions with No. 44

November, 10, 2011
11/10/11
9:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Safety James Ihedigbo earned his first career NFL start on Oct. 9, helping the Patriots beat his former team, the Jets. Ihedigbo has been in the starting lineup since, and figures to be so Sunday night when the Patriots visit the Jets for Round 2.

The former UMass star spent a few minutes to share his thoughts on the matchup and more:

What are your thoughts about returning to the Meadowlands as the opponent?
"I'm excited. I'm going back there with a chip on my shoulder. It's going to be a great atmosphere, Sunday night football. I understand their fans get rowdy. It's going to be intense, similar to a playoff atmosphere this time of year. I'm excited and the rest of the guys are fired up to go down there and play our best football this season."

What are your thoughts on losing safety Josh Barrett for the season because of injury?
"It's tough. He's a good player who has helped us out a lot. For him to get an injury toward the dying seconds of last game, and for that to sideline him for the season, I definitely feel for him. He was hurt, came back, and got hurt again and that's frustrating for a player. I feel for him."

What happens now at safety?
"It means other guys have to step up. We'll have Sterling Moore up this week. I'm a firm believer that opportunity is everything, so you have to make the most of the opportunity."

How would you describe the mood around the team after the two losses?
"It's one of those things, it's the NFL. No season goes exactly as planned, so all you can do is bounce back and focus on the next one. That's what is great about this time of year, the halfway point of the season, moving into November and December, every game is so important. The next one is more important than the last, and this is when you have to gear down and start playing your better football into the end of November and into December."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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