FOXBOROUGH -- Patrick Chung was asked about what he has concentrated on for improvement. But the Patriots safety didn't turn to anything physical. He didn't mention the work that resulted in being honored as one of New England's 10 top performers during its off-season program. Nor did he reference building up his strength to avoid a relapse of the injuries that caused him to miss eight games last season.
Instead, he talked about teaching.
"Being a coach on the field," Chung said. "They give us the information, and we've got to execute. It's good to have a couple guys out there who can think like coaches, direct traffic, let everyone else be on the same page."
The Patriots have eight safeties on the roster: Chung, Josh Barrett, Sergio Brown, Nate Ebner, Steve Gregory, James Ihedigbo, Ross Ventrone, and Tavon Wilson. Will Allen also played safety during off-season practices, and could slot in at the free safety position.
"We've got a couple smart guys," Chung said. "We're all in the same room, we're learning the same things. We help each other in the film room, so when we come out here on the field, the communication is still the same. We're working constantly, regardless of whether it's out here or sitting in chairs.
"It's all about coming in and having the mentality, I want to learn. You can make it as hard as you want to. If you come in focused, ready to learn, ready to pick up on whatever you got to pick up on, follow the veteran, follow the lead and take the lead, the sky's the limit."
As for the positional competition?
"Ton of it, everywhere we go," Barrett said. "It's a competitive camp. That's how it should be, and I'm looking forward to it. Everyone thrives off it at this stage in the game. You know what you're daily requirements are."
Chung took a different route in answering that question.
"That's like having all you guys out here, seeing who's the best reporter," he said.