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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Rookie safety Pat Chung, whose playing time has spiked over the past three weeks, was part of the team's nickel (five defensive backs) and dime packages (six defensive backs) against the Dolphins.
Chung, the team's top draft choice (34th overall), showed impressive speed and instincts as he blitzed off the defensive right side on a first-quarter sack. It marked the second straight game he had a sack.
"Anybody's eyes light up, it's once in a lifetime you get an open gap like that," Chung said after crediting his teammates.
Playing over veteran James Sanders, Chung finished with three tackles (one for a loss).
"Patrick's coming along well," coach Bill Belichick said. "He's done a real good job for us in the kicking game and he continues to show up and make plays. It's not always perfect and he doesn't always do everything exactly the way you want it done, but at the end of the play he makes a bunch of tackles and he's got his guy covered and he basically ends up being a productive player."
Belichick lauded Chung's work ethic.
"He's in here early, he stays late -- kind of like [Jerod] Mayo and [Gary] Guyton were last year," he said. "He really puts a lot into it. Football's real important to him and he's continued to get better on the practice field, both in the kicking game and defensively. He's taken advantage of the opportunities he's gotten. Anybody that works that hard and has the kind of ability he has, I think he's going to continue to improve."