In 2007, cornerback Leigh Bodden had elevated to productive starter with the Browns. Bodden had six interceptions that season and the Lions thought enough of him to target him in a trade for defensive lineman Shaun Rogers.
Yet in 2008, Bodden dipped while playing for the winless Lions.
So which player will the Patriots be getting in 2009?
Former Lions general manager Matt Millen seems to think the Patriots will be getting the 2007 version of Bodden.
“I think he’s a great fit for what Bill [Belichick] is going to do,” Millen said today on a conference call in which he was named analyst for NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts. “Bill won’t put him in a position to do anything he’s not capable of doing. That’s one of Bill’s strengths as a coach. I think if I was going to characterize Coach Belichick it would be that — he doesn’t ask you to do anything you can’t do.
“That being said, Leigh has good man-to-man skills, he has good zone instincts. I thought when we got Leigh that would be a good fit for us. In fact, the whole staff did — obviously you don’t make that trade. What happened up there? I can only speak to up to the third game, and then I was gone. I couldn’t tell you what happened past that, but it was clear to me just watching film sometimes that he wasn’t very comfortable in what he was doing.
“I do know that when we decided to take him, we were collectively excited about getting him. We thought he had a great upside and apparently it went awry.”
Millen’s comments had me going back to my notes from February to dig up more on Bodden and why he might be a better fit in New England than he was in Detroit.