New England Patriots: Pat Chung

Chung beams with Oregon pride

December, 4, 2009
FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots rookie safety Pat Chung is as intense off the field as he is on it, especially when his alma mater is in action.

Chung doesn't get to watch often, but he had a rare opportunity Thursday night as he went wire to wire in watching Oregon punch its ticket to the Rose Bowl with a 37-33 win over Oregon State. Oregon hasn't been to the Rose Bowl since 1995.

"I'm glued to my TV, there is no moving, I bring my waters and snacks and I'm right there," he said. "A bad play happens, I'm yelling. A good play happens, I'm yelling.

"I'm diehard, man. I'm still bleeding yellow and green. The only difference is that there is a little [Patriots] red and blue in there, too."

Special teams tackle leaders

November, 26, 2009
A look at the Patriots' leaders in special teams tackles (based on coaches' film review), which can highlight the value of some lesser publicized players:

LB Pierre Woods -- 12
LB Eric Alexander -- 9
S Brandon McGowan -- 9
S Pat Chung -- 8
WR Sam Aiken -- 7
CB Kyle Arrington -- 5
S Bret Lockett -- 5
S Brandon Meriweather -- 5
WR Matthew Slater -- 5
LB Rob Ninkovich -- 4
K Stephen Gostkowski -- 4

Patriots defensive snap count

November, 23, 2009
A look at snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 31-14 win over the Jets (as charted in the press box, small margin for error):

ILB Gary Guyton – 51 of 51 snaps
ILB Jerod Mayo – 51 of 51
S Brandon Meriweather – 51 of 51
CB Jonathan Wilhite – 51 of 51
CB Leigh Bodden – 50 of 51
S Brandon McGowan – 50 of 51
OLB/DE Adalius Thomas – 40 of 51
NT Vince Wilfork – 39 of 51
DE Mike Wright – 37 of 51
DE Ty Warren -- 34 of 52
OLB Tully Banta-Cain – 26 of 51
OLB Pierre Woods – 19 of 51
DE Derrick Burgess – 17 of 51
DT Myron Pryor – 17 of 51
CB Darius Butler – 12 of 51
S James Sanders – 9 of 51
S Pat Chung – 5 of 51
DT Ron Brace – 1 of 51
S Randy Moss – 1 of 51

(Two false start penalties included in snaps)

ANALYSIS: The base alignment was a 3-4, with the Patriots using a 3-2-6 dime (6 defensive backs) in most passing situations and occasionally a 4-2-5 nickel (5 defensive backs). … Butler and Chung were the fifth and sixth defensive backs in the sub package. … When Chung left the game with a head injury, he was replaced by Sanders. … Mayo and Guyton played every snap at inside linebacker, keeping Junior Seau on the sidelines for the third game in a row. … Including penalties, the 51 snaps were the third fewest the defense has played in a game this season (46, vs. Falcons, 49 vs. Titans). … Banta-Cain made the most of his playing time, finishing with five tackles and two sacks in just 26 snaps. … After seeing action solely on early downs, Thomas is playing again in sub packages as he’s had more of a chance to rush the passer in recent weeks. … Woods played on defense for the first time since Oct. 18 against Tennessee, starting at outside linebacker and working in a rotation. … This was the second time this season that Moss has been called upon as a safety in a Hail Mary situation.

Chung shaken up in third quarter

November, 22, 2009
Patriots rookie safety Pat Chung suffered a head injury in the third quarter and his return is questionable.

Chung appeared shaken up when combining with Brandon Meriweather to tackle tight end Dustin Keller on the Jets' first possession of the second half. Trainers forced him off the field after the play, but he later returned for the kickoff after the Jets scored on the drive.

As he came off following the kickoff, trainers again grabbed him and re-examined him. He remains on the sideline.

Belichick pleased with Chung's progress

November, 8, 2009

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."

Breakdown of special teams units

October, 5, 2009

A snapshot look at the players on the Patriots' 45-man game-day roster who were part of core special teams units Sunday against the Ravens:

WR Sam Aiken

LB Eric Alexander

S Pat Chung

LB Rob Ninkovich

Safeties Matthew Slater, Brandon McGowan and James Sanders were part of three special teams units.

The Patriots have been inconsistent on special teams, with some of the more noticeable struggles coming on kickoff returns. Slater, who was part of the kickoff coverage, punt coverage and punt return teams, could provide a spark to a kickoff return unit that has annually been one of the NFL's better groups.