New England Patriots: Bill Belichick praises versatility of Patrick Chung

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: Patrick Chung
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: Patrick Chung /

Following a solid performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung received high praise from Bill Belichick.

When you received praise from Bill Belichick, you must be doing something right.  During his weekly conference call on Monday, the New England Patriots head coach took some time to applaud the versatility of safety Patrick Chung.

Chung, who was originally drafted by Belichick, re-joined the team three seasons ago and for the most part has been pretty solid.  One of his key attributes has been his ability to play multiple roles in the defense, which Belichick was asked about during the call.

"“Yeah, Patrick has really good versatility.  He does a lot for us defensively and in the kicking game,” Belichick said, via  “he has a lot of roles there, was well.  Pat works hard.  He’s athletic.  He tackles well, has good playing strength for his size, really does a good job at a lot of things.  I would say the tackling is definitely a strength of his and has been through the years.  He’s a tough kid.  He’s there every week for you.”"

As strong and solid as Chung has been with his tackling, his coverage skills are still cringe worthy.  Like the entire secondary, Chung has struggled this season in the passing game.  However, he did have a very strong performance on Thursday night with a couple impressive pass break ups against Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate.

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On leadership

Overall, the type of plays Patrick Chung made in the passing game was indicative of his experience in the league playing against some of the top tight ends. It also exemplified the leadership he adds to the team on and off field.  Belichick also touched on that leadership.

"“He’s played against a lot of good players,” Belichick said.  “He’s met every challenge throughout the course of his career.  He’s played against all of the top tight ends and a lot of slot receivers and matchup against a lot of the guys that we’ve had here – Julian [Edelman], Wes [Welker], all of those guys.  I think his confidence and his overall playing style, like you said, a real good leader by example.  If guys do the things that he does then they’re on the right track.”"

In leading by example on the field, Chung’s play could help solidify a secondary that is talent-wise one of the best Bill Belichick has had.  While the communication issues still need to be worked on, execution will go a long way in how good this defensive backfield can be.

Next: Patriots gridiron news: Tom Brady says team is ‘not a finished product’

Needless to say, Patrick Chung could play a large role in everything eventually coming together.