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BOSTON (CBS) – Patriots safety James Ihedigbo has been the last man standing this season.
Many players in the defensive backfield have gotten hurt and taken time off. James has not been one of them. Although it seems like he gets hurt every week, he is always right back on the field a few plays later.
The UMass grad was signed in the offseason after being let go by the Jets, and Ihedigbo has been nothing short of a work horse.
On Friday, head coach Bill Belichick talked about Ihedigbo’s value.
“Very professional, smart guy,” Belichick said. ”(He) did a real good job for us in the kicking game, well prepared on defense even though he didn’t have a lot of defensive playing time early, but he’s one of those guys that always paid attention, knew what to do. You put him in there, he was on top of it. As he’s gotten more of an opportunity to play, he’s really shown that he communicates well, he makes quick decisions, I think he has good football instincts and understands the game – whether it’s in the kicking game or defensively.”
“(He’s) the kind of guy that you tell him once and he understands it or he’ll ask a question that kind of one step ahead of your explanation,” the coach continued. “You’re explaining something and then he’s like, ‘So if this happens, then would you want me to do this? Yeah, exactly, that would be the next thing to go to.’ He’s kind of thinking one step ahead like that. He’s been a real good addition to this team.”
Patriots Game Day: Ihedigbo Living His Dream And Helping Others
“I would say along the lines of Brian Waters, Andre Carter, Ihedigbo, are guys that have come onto this team from other teams that have shown a high degree of leadership as well as just being able to do their job, have some flexibility, throw different things at them but they can handle it, they can process it, it doesn’t phase them, they’re able to make adjustments either quickly or in their role whatever it happens to be and approach the game with a very professional attitude,” said Belichick. “They’re well prepared, they’re calm under pressure. They can handle things flying around in a game that are different or a little bit unsettling but they’re able to handle those.”
It looks like James may have found a new home. Although it’s not too far from where he grew up in Amherst.
Tune in to the Patriots final regular season game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday at 1pm on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pregame coverage begins on 98.5 at 10am, with Patriots Gameday on WBZ-TV at 11:30am. After the game, tune in to The Postgame Show on 98.5, and Patriots Fifth Quarter on MyTV38.