One interesting battle to watch in training camp will be at safety, where Brandon Meriweather appears firmly entrenched as a starter but the other starting position is up in the air. The duties were split last season between James Sanders and Brandon McGowan, who handled most of the snaps there, but also occasionally with rookie Patrick Chung. Around midseason, Chung was building off some solid special-teams work and had earned more snaps on defense. But down the stretch, his volume of work on defense tailed off dramatically, which finished off his first season disappointingly.
That said, Chung, the Patriots' top pick in 2009 (34th overall), has a chance to earn that starting spot next to Meriweather, admitting to the media this week that his head was swimming at times in terms of assignments and understanding of the scheme. But by the looks of things in OTAs, with Chung sometimes blitzing, sometimes up in man coverage and sometimes in deep coverage, he has come a long way. Although he has worn a red, non-contact jersey during practice, Chung is not believed to have a serious injury — the team is notoriously tight-lipped about injuries — and should have a chance to win a starting assignment if he continues to make progress.
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