Tag:Leigh Bodden
Posted on: November 11, 2011 10:15 am

Recently-cut Bodden underwent back surgery

L. Bodden underwent back surgery (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When the Patriots released cornerback Leigh Bodden late last month, there was speculation that Bodden either had gotten very old very quickly or that he was simply going through the motions despite his four-year, $22 million contract.

The truth of the matter, though, is much more painful.

Bodden, in a hospital bed in North Carolina, told the Boston Herald that he had severe back problems after Week 1 and there were times he could barely run because of the pain.

“People may have thought I was angry, but I never was,” Bodden told the newspaper. “I just knew sometimes I would feel healthy, sometimes I wouldn’t. … (After an MRI), it didn’t really show much. I went on, and it got progressively worse.

“I had told them my back was hurting. One time, a receiver caught a ball on me, and I could barely run. They’re screaming at me, and it probably looked like I didn’t care. But that’s never the case with me.”

After New England waived him, Bodden actually had a chance to sign with the Chiefs, but because he has so much respect for Kansas City defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, Bodden told the team about his physical maladies, including his back pain and a weakened right leg.

“Then I got home and noticed one leg was smaller than the other,” Bodden said. “The muscle had atrophied. They measured my leg, and I had lost three inches.”

That’s when Bodden underwent back surgery to fix the herniated disc that was causing so many of his problems.

The issue with New England is that an MRI didn’t show anything wrong with Bodden even though he was in pain. Bodden knew something was wrong, but neither he nor the Patriots knew the extent of the injury. Now that he does and has taken corrective measures to fix the problem, he’s looking forward to the rest of his career.

“I don’t want my career to end like this, and it won’t,” Bodden said. “I know my ability. This surgery is really nothing, they removed the disc, and it’ll just let the leg be normal. I still feel like I’m a damn good player at this point in my career, age or not.”

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Posted on: October 29, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 5:13 pm

Patriots place Dowling on IR; DBs get weaker

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The big news on Friday came when the Patriots surprisingly waived Leigh Bodden. The speculation behind the transaction was that Bodden might have gotten old very quickly or that the coaches wanted to try out some younger players in the  secondary – which contributes mightily to the team placing 32nd in the NFL in defense – or that he simply wasn’t a good fit on the squad.

With the loss of Bodden, it was assumed oft-injured rookie Ras-I Dowling would receive some playing time, but the Patriots had another surprise for us Saturday by announcing that they had placed Dowling on the IR list, ending his season.

Dowling had missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury, and lately, he’s been dealing with a hip injury. As ESPN Boston points out, the Dowling move leaves Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Antwaun Molden and Phillip Adams at cornerback for New England. Already plagued with the worst pass defense in the league, it’s hard to fathom that quartet improving the team enough to get the defense out of the basement of the league.

Which makes the move to waive Bodden just kind of strange. The entire last two days of Patriots transactions has been, well, a head-scratcher.

Or as the Boston Herald put it, “It is amazing, I must say, to release Leigh Bodden, then place Ras-I Dowling on IR the next day. Very confusing.”

UPDATED (5:11 p.m. ET): The Boston Herald reports Dowling's injury is a torn tendon in his leg -- which caused the pain in his hip. No surgery is needed, but he'd need four weeks to heal and then another few to get back in football shape before returning. That's why New England decided to end his season now.

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Posted on: October 28, 2011 11:08 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 11:16 am

Report: Patriots release Leigh Bodden

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Cornerback Leigh Bodden, a nine-year veteran, was surprisingly released from the Patriots on Friday, a source told Pro Football Talk.

BoddenThe move came as a shock, because, as Pro Football Focus points out, Bodden was the team’s best cover corner this year -- he played 222 snaps this year and had been thrown at 22 times, allowing 12 receptions for a touchdown while breaking up four passes. Considering the Patriots defense is ranked last in the league by allowing 423.7 yards per game (they’re also ranked last with 322.2 passing yards allowed), you have to wonder if this is a football-related move or from something that occurred off the field.

On Friday morning, Bill Belichick was asked about Bodden’s play, and he responded, “We’ll skip that right now.” He also said the team hadn’t made an announcement about anything Bodden-related.

"He's enjoyed this time in New England, but after meeting with coach Belichick this morning both parties agreed it was time to move on,” agent Alvin Keels told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “Leigh is totally healthy and can contribute right away.”

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Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:46 am

Hue Jackson still has love for Ochocinco

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Oftentimes, when I hear the name Hue Jackson, I don’t think of him as the Raiders head coach. Instead, I think back to the time a few years ago when, after Chad Ochocinco’s collision with Browns cornerback Leigh Bodden left him with a concussion, he kept calling out for Jackson in the Bengals locker room.

Eventually, Jackson -- then the receivers coach in Cincinnati -- appeared by Ochocinco’s side, and even though Ochocinco was clearly out of sorts (it was an uncomfortable moment inside the locker room that day for those of us who were trying to interview Ochocinco), it was also obvious how much Jackson means to Ochocinco.

And after talking to the Patriots media corps this week, it’s also obvious how much Ochocinco means to Jackson.

Chad Johnson's my son," said Jackson, via CSN New England, who didn’t mean it in the literal way. "I know you guys probably have a hard time with him. He's kind of colorful. But he is a tremendous young man. I really adore him but I won't on Sunday."
"I helped raise that young man in Cincinnati. He played for me, he did wonders for me and he is a tremendous competitor and a doggone good football player."

Ochocinco, who will reunite with and play against his former coach Sunday, hasn’t been very good this year, dropping what could have been the game-winning touchdown last week vs. the Bills and recording only five catches for 87 yards in the first three games.

He’s also seemingly undergone a personality transplant. While in Cincinnati, he was playful and obnoxious and self-centered in the locker room. Really, he was like a child. But in New England, he’s been more even-keeled and less fun. Whether that’s a byproduct of the Bill Belichick regime or because he’s struggling with the playbook and with his game, it’s unclear. But for now, it looks like Ochocinco isn’t the same player (or person) in New England as he was in Cincinnati.

"When you tend to have success and things have gone for you the way his career has gone up to this point, it's hard when you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Jackson said. “But one thing I know about him, he's going to continue to work. He'll do everything that's asked of him. He's a tremendous pro. Eventually, it will come off right for him. I just don't want it to happen this week."

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Posted on: September 6, 2011 6:04 pm

CB Darius Butler cut by Patriots

Posted by Will Brinson

In 2009, the Patriots had a whopping four second-round draft picks. On Tuesday, they cut one of those picks, cornerback Darius Butler.

Butler, the 41st-overall pick that year, announced the move on Twitter.

"Its been real New England," Butler tweeted Tuesday. "I was blessed to have a chance to play and start my NFL career here. But its time to open a new chapter. Thx #patsnation."

Per our Patriots Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard, Butler wasn't exactly shocked about the news.

 "It wasn't a surprise. I was hearing trade speculation," Butler said. "It happened maybe a little bit later than I wanted, but I'm ready to go forward."

Butler, who played in 15 games last season, recorded just 23 tackles and zero sacks. Butler figured to see some substantial playing time last year when Leigh Bodden went on injured reserve, but he never stepped up his play and eventually lost his starting spot.

With Bodden, blossoming star Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington topping the depth chart, the Patriots clearly felt they have enough manpower.

Don't expect to see the youngster stay on the open market long, though. As Steve Reed of the Gaston Gazette points out, the Panthers have the first chance at claiming Butler off of waivers and given that their in pretty desperate need of cornerbacks, it would be shocking to see them pass on him.

Interestingly enough (or maybe not?), in the 2009 NFL Draft, Butler went two picks ahead of former Panthers defensive end Everette Brown, who Carolina cut Sunday. Butler won't get them their first-round pick back from the 49ers, but he might salvage something out of what turned out to be an absolutely disastrous draft in 2009.

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 1:31 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 7:25 am

Offseason Checkup: New England Patriots

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups .

The Patriots were probably the best team in football last season, compiling a 14-2 record before surprisingly losing to the Jets in the second round of the playoffs. Let’s see what New England had: Outstanding QB, check. Pretty good running game, check. A good enough offensive line and wide receiving corps, yes. A rock-solid defense, um, no.

The team had its problems on defense – which is talented but oh so young – but the wizardry of Brady who knows coach Bill Belichick’s system so well overcame most of those defensive hiccups. The Patriots haven’t had a losing season this century, so whatever constructive criticism that follows in this piece doesn’t suggest that the Patriots suddenly will struggle to win games. With Belichick, that simply doesn’t happen very often (unless, ahem, he’s donning the headset in Cleveland).

Recent unsuccessful playoff runs

A ridiculous statistic for you: the Patriots haven’t won a playoff game since the 2007 AFC championship game. That’s right, since that undefeated New England squad lost the Super Bowl to the Giants, the Ravens in the 2009 playoffs and the Jets in 2010 – all three of those were considered upsets, as well.

Doesn’t matter that New England has an annual chokehold on the AFC East (though New York is beginning to threaten that dominance), the Patriots can’t get anywhere in the playoffs. They haven’t won a Super Bowl in six years. So, what’s the problem?

1. Wide Receiver
Getting rid of Randy Moss probably was the right call for New England, but when the Patriots sent him away, they also lost their downfield threat. You might argue that Moss’ skills are in decline – and the Titans would DEFINITELY say that – but he’s still quite a long-ball receiver. Wes Welker is one of the best slot receivers in the game, Deion Branch had a nice comeback year and New England’s young tight ends are really solid. But a Moss-like receiver would be welcome.

2. More DL depth
Mike Wright and Ron Brace missed a combined nine regular-season games last season before injuries forced them to the Injured Reserve lists while Ty Warren missed the entire year, and a trio of rookies (two of whom were undrafted) were forced to step in and replace them. What the Patriots need in this year’s draft is a pass rusher off the edge, and since they have a plethora of draft picks, they could certainly try to trade up and find one. Wright, with 5.5 sacks, was the team leader, and following behind him were LBs Tully Banta-Cain and Rob Ninkovich. They need some help on the DL, though newly-signed Marcus Stroud could certainly ease some of that burden.

3. Better secondary play
Devin McCourtey had a strong rookie season, leading the team with seven interceptions and Leigh Bodden – who missed all of last year – will be a definite upgrade over Kyle Arrington. Pat Chung is solid at the SS spot, but FS Brandon Meriweather wasn’t very good last season (how he made the Pro Bowl is baffling). It would not be a surprise if New England tries to replace him.

The Patriots obviously have some corrections that need to be made. But this franchise has been the best – and most feared – in the NFL since Belichick took over (though Rex Ryan absolutely will NOT kiss his rings), and he doesn’t hesitate to get rid of loyal Patriots who he feels can’t help them anymore (I’m looking at you Richard Seymour, Adam Vinatieri, et al). The Patriots will continue to battle with the Jets for AFC East dominance, but like usual, New England will be a preseason favorite to win the Super Bowl.

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Posted on: April 1, 2011 8:58 pm

Leigh Bodden eager to get back

Posted by Andy Benoit

You gotta love Leigh Bodden’s attitude. The Patriots cornerback missed all of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. Prior to the injury, he had signed a four-year, $22 million deal.L. Bodden (US Presswire)

“If the lockout thing blows over, and we get to play football,” Bodden told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “I’ll be excited to come back and earn that contract, and earn that money the Patriots gave me.”

Before his injury, the former Brown had proved to be an excellent fit in New England’s variegated zone-based scheme. His value to the club was highlighted in the early season instability that marred the No. 2 corner slot (Darius Butler wound up losing his job to undrafted youngster Kyle Arrington; Arrington struggled at times).

A healthy Bodden across from burgeoning star Devin McCourty would make for a stellar – if not spectacular – tandem.

“It was definitely difficult for me personally to sit out and not play football, the game that I love, the game that I’ve been playing forever. But to watch as a fan, to watch the season that (the Patriots) had, it was just amazing to watch guys like Devin McCourty grow up in a heartbeat,” Bodden said.

“You can never say, ‘This guy is going to be great or this guy is going to be this good,’ but when he first came, he made a few plays where I was amazed and shocked and like, ‘Man, he’s going to be a player.’ Me, personally, I didn’t think he would be as good as he was during the season, but like I told a lot of those young guys, ‘When you get that playing experience on the field, you just learn on the go.’ ”

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Posted on: March 18, 2011 8:01 pm

Montell Owens not offended by Goodell's email

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

As expected, Roger Goodell’s letter Thursday to the NFL players (and their agents … and to some media outlets including CBSSports.com) didn’t go over quite so well.

Various players have tweeted their displeasure -- including Leigh Bodden’s, “How did Goodell get my email* address?” tweet that was my personal favorite – and others have told various outlets that they see right through Goodell’s attempt to divide and conquer the NFLPA.

*Big news out of the Associated Press today, by the way. The people in charge have decided AP style will no longer be “e-mail.” Instead, it will be “email.” We at CBSSports.com also will be changing our style. So, that’s really the big news of the day.

There is, though, at least one exception.
NFL Labor
According to the Florida Times-Union’s Tania Ganguli, Pro Bowl special teams player Montell Owens had a different opinion than most of his compadres.

Owens, bucking the trend, said he thought the letter was “heartfelt”

"I read through it and I understand we're all trying to come to some agreement,” Owens said. “I do know the negotiating table is where this is going to get resolved. I really commend him on that and his efforts of really wanting to get things done.”

Score one for Goodell.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com