FOXBOROUGH — The chemistry in the defensive backfield between safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory has been coming along throughout training camp. Chung picked off one of Tom Brady’s passes in this afternoon’s practice and Gregory broke up a pair of attempts.
Going into his fourth season, Chung’s been in the Patriots system his entire career. All Steve Gregory’s known his seven years in the league is the way he’s played with the San Diego Chargers. But since he’s come to New England, Gregory and Chung have traded notes and they’ve both been better off for it, Gregory said.
“He knows the system so he’s been helping me out with that a little bit,” Gregory said. “There’s things we both can bring to each other. We talk a lot, talk football a lot and it’s been helping out.”
Gregory had a pick in the Patriots’s preseason opener against the Saints, juggling to snag a pass from New Orleans backup Chase Daniels in the second quarter.
While Gregory may be undersized, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said, he’s fast, aggressive, instinctive and versatile.
“Steve has done a nice job,” Caserio said. “He’s a versatile player; he was able to do a number of different things in San Diego’s defense. I think some of the things that we’re doing are a little bit different, just systematically, but he’s indoctrinated himself into our system well. He’s done a nice job to this point. He’s been here since day one of the offseason and so far so good.”
Some of the schemes and terminology in the Patriots defense are clearly different from what had been engrained in Gregory in San Diego, but he’s growing more and more comfortable.
“The more we get to know each other — and that goes across the board with all the guys — the more we get to know each other, get familiar with playing with each other, the better you can communicate,” Gregory said. “So that’s what camp’s about. That’s what what we’ve been working on.”