Arrington embraces CB competition

PEABODY, Mass. -- Kyle Arrington started 14 regular-season games for the Patriots last season at right cornerback, seizing the opportunity after 2009 starter Leigh Bodden sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in the preseason.

Now Bodden is on track for a return and Arrington -- taking a break from an autograph signing Saturday -- was asked how he views his role taking shape.

"Competition. Great competition," he said. "With [Patriots coach] Bill [Belichick], whoever is playing well, that's who is going to play. There is no favoritism with Bill.

"I'm going to try to come out better next year. It was a great learning experience this year and I am going to try to build on that and be even better, which I know I am capable of being."

In addition to Bodden and Devin McCourty returning in 2011, the Patriots also have Darius Butler, Jonathan Wilhite and Tony Carter on the cornerback depth chart.

As for Arrington, he has mostly been working out in Maryland during the NFL's lockout. His workouts have included two days of basketball.

Asked if he has been concerned about exposing himself to injury -- veteran quarterback Chad Pennington tore his ACL playing hoop this offseason -- Arrington recalled the words of one of his football coaches at Hofstra.

"You are more likely to get hurt if you think you're going to get hurt," he said. "So I just don't think about it."

Arrington's appearance in Peabody, for which part of the proceeds will go to charity, was arranged by his agent Sean Stellato.

"With Kyle being here, it shows he is more than just a football player," Stellato said. "He is reaching out to his fans. If you look at where he has come from -- being undrafted to a starting cornerback for one of the most prestigious organizations in the NFL-- it is a great story."