by Scott Benson, Patriots Daily Staff
September 4, 2009

Aside from a gruesome arm injury suffered by special teams sprinter Matthew Slater, it was a feel-good ending to the Patriots pre-season last night as New England rallied from a three-touchdown deficit to blow past the Giants 38-27.

So I don’t feel like making anybody run today, especially not anyone who may be just a day away from a dream denied.

I know! I’ll get somebody who’s already on the team. Rookie safety Pat Chung, first player taken in the Pats 09 draft, take a lap.

Lapsed coverages on Sinorice Moss – who was supposed to be a disappointment, for crying out loud – twice left Chung – who was supposed to be able to cover, for crying out loud – a day late and six points short. He looked like Moss’s kid brother chasing him up the street. “Hey, waaaaaaait up!”

I’m not going to worry too much about this because I think Chung’s problems in the pre-season can largely be attributed to one thing: he’s trying too hard.

Take a good look at him next time he’s on camera. He’s a nervous wreck out there. Eyes like Reche Caldwell. Fumbled punts, blown coverages – it all makes me think of Wes Welker’s first pre-season games as a Pat, when Welker tried so hard to do something big that he kept coming up small. The same thing applies to Chung, I think, only ten-fold.

I don’t know what the hell he’s worried about, actually. Anybody who has seen him play the run so far knows he’s an NFL player, and maybe even a good one someday. You can see him contributing on special teams right away. Coverage? He seems pretty athletic (I’m thinking of that blocked field goal) and he runs well. I have to think that given time to assimilate further, and maybe settle the hell down while he’s at it, he’ll be more competitive in coverage than he was last night.

Go blow some steam off, Pat. Take a lap.

Postscript: the Patriots have just released Andrew Walter, leaving only Tom Brady and rookie Brian Hoyer at quarterback for New England. A trade for a veteran may well be coming. More on this tomorrow.

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