One aspect of Patriots offseason workouts that stood out was the progress made by second-year cornerback Jonathan Wilhite. While much attention at cornerback has been paid to newcomers Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden, and the drafting of Darius Butler, it appears as if Wilhite is in a good position to compete for nickel cornerback duties.
Wilhite shared some of his thoughts with reporters about his mindset at this time:
How much more comfortable are you feeling at this time than you were last year?
“It’s more comfortable, but at the same time you still have new stuff to learn. Right now, I’m still young and there is always something I can learn. We have some guys who came in who have been doing this for a long time, like Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden, and that always makes it a little better.”
Do you view it as a sign of progress when in the OTAs you’re on the field with Springs and Bodden?
“Absolutely. If you have trouble or problems with something, you always have someone on the other side of you that can help you, even in the meeting room. It’s always a plus. Like I said, you’re just trying to string them together and get better every day.”
Do you feel any different coming in this year?
“Everything is the same. I still have the jitterbugs. I still think there is a lot of stuff I have to learn. I’m just enjoying the moment, playing beside some good corners.”
Do you view it as having more of an opportunity this year to make an impact?
“Around this time, everything is equal. There is no depth charts. There is always time to show your progress and things you got better in over the offseason. You just try to go in there, make the best of it, and compete to the highest level.”
What do you feel you’ve gotten better at – are you bigger, faster?
“Offseason is always a plus. I worked a lot of speed training, and overall as a player, I just tried to increase my knowledge and get better in the meeting room and outside the meeting room. Overall, I’m just trying to go out there and compete. That is my main objective right now.”
(This interview took place during the week of mandatory minicamp.)