First-time father Kyle Arrington could see the resemblance right away.
Junior, now four months old, looked just like him.
“I knew that was my boy,” Arrington said. “But the changes you see day-to-day? It’s amazing. Now he’s talking like his mother. Every parent probably goes through that, but it’s very new to me.”
A lot of things are new for the Patriots cornerback this season.
Arrington also has a new house (“Needed a bigger space for when the grandparents visit from Maryland,” he said) and new contract (four years, $16 million).
But on the field, two things have remained constant: Arrington’s expectations (get better every day) and the Patriots’ premium on versatility.
“Playing on this team, wherever the coaches are comfortable and confident enough to put you, you need to have confidence in yourself to play it,” he said.
Through three practices, Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard split time as the starting right corner.
Arrington shifted inside as the slot corner in passing situations.
It’s the same as it was last year, when New England’s secondary constantly shuffled because of injuries and acquisitions. The Patriots added Aqib Talib in November.
Next season is a bit more uncertain. Dennard, arrested on July 11 for suspicion of DUI, faces a probation hearing on Aug. 27.
That could determine whether the NFL suspends the second-year cornerback under the personal conduct policy.
For now, Arrington isn’t thinking about that.
“The goal I try to take is just to maximize the most out of each day,” Arrington said. “Work on techniques and try to get better.”