Thursday, July 12, 2012
Arrington's 'underdog' camp
By Mike Reiss
Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington's football journey has been one of overcoming the odds.
Coming out of high school, the only college to offer him a scholarship was Division I-AA Hofstra. That football program no longer exists.
Coming into the NFL undrafted, Arrington was cut twice -- first by the Eagles, then the Buccaneers. He then scrapped and clawed on the Patriots' practice squad before earning a promotion to the 53-man roster.
Two seasons later, Arrington tied for the NFL lead in interceptions (7) with Green Bay's Charles Woodson (1st-round draft pick) and San Diego's Eric Weddle (2nd-round draft pick). Not bad for an undrafted player.
It is with that background that Arrington has decided to host a one-day football camp Saturday, July 21 in Chelsea, Mass. The camp will have an underdog theme. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. and the camp will end at 2 p.m. For more information, call 978-595-5254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five questions with Arrington:
Why put together a football camp?
"It’s an opportunity to give back to the New England area. They do a heck of a job supporting what we do. We'll focus on fundamentals and have fun with it. It’s a blessing to be able to give back, and if you can inspire one person, it makes it all worth it. Everybody has a story. No matter what they want to do -- in all fields, football or not -- it's nice if you can affect kids as a positive influence."
What was your experience with camps growing up?
"I didn't attend many camps. I wish I could have, and that is part of what I appreciate being in this position now, to share my story and hopefully affect these kids in positive ways. Looking back, I wish I had an opportunity like this, to hear someone say a few words that might have an impact on my life."
You mention telling your story. How would you sum that up?
"Never quit. Whatever you want to do in life, go out and do it. I say it all the time, we have to take the road less traveled. I always say, 'if you want something bad enough, go make it happen.'"
A lot of people would like to be an NFL player, but it only happens for a select few. Did you ever think it wouldn't happen for you?
"I never thought of it like that. I was fortunate enough where one door closed, another one opened. Not everyone gets the opportunity, but I was fortunate enough to get one. I had a chance to make an impression on coaches and an organization and it just so happened to be in New England. The attitude I came into the league with was that it was going to be all or nothing."
What is it about New England that made it all click?
"It's all a philosophy. In New England, under Bill, they like hard-nosed, tough, physical football players. That wasn't something I grew up as; in high school I was definitely more of a finesse guy. But coming out of college, I transformed into a more physical player. It just stuck and I prefer that style of play. It's fun getting in there and mixing it up."