Young DB Has No Lack Of Confidence

With Ellis Hobbs gone the Patriots defensive backs will be in a battle for roster spots come training camp time. One young DB thinks he has what it take to make the club... If he does, who will he need to knock off the roster to win a spot?

Rookie cornerback Jamar Love hopes to make it in the NFL despite not being selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. That's OK with him, he's with one team he thinks he has a shot with - the Patriots.

When asked about his Draft experience, Love told The Morning News he had a long day waiting. "a lot of stressing going on," he said. "A lot of teams called me during the draft. A lot of teams called me after the draft. But signing with the Patriots was a great feeling."

For now, Love's big challenge will come in training camp when the veterans and rookies spend more time together learning, practicing, competing for roster sports. Love enjoyed the minicamp experience, telling WTHV's Wess Moore that it went well.

"It was a great experience up there working with guys I've been watching on TV since I was little," said Love. "So it was great for me."

How great it will turn out depends upon whether he can work his way into a roster spot. New England added veterans Leigh Bodden and Shawn Springs via free agency, and then selected Darius Butler in the second round of the Draft. Add in two cornerback draft picks from 2008, Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite, and it doesn't leave much room for an undrafted rookie

Perhaps Love has confidence from his days as a starter in the SEC at Arkansas where he faced players like Demetrius Byrd (LSU), Mike Wallace (Mississippi) and Percy Harvin (Florida).

Southern California wide receiver Patrick Turner (1) dives over Arkansas cornerback Jamar Love during the third quarter of the college football game Saturday, Sept. 2. 2006, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

His confidence could arise from knowing the Patriots like players who participate in the Texas vs the Nation all star game. RB Justise Hairston and DL Zach West went to camp with the Patriots in 2007, while TE Tyson DeVree, LB Vince Redd and P Mike Dragosavich joined the club for 2008's camp.

If Love doesn't make the 53 man roster there's still the practice squad where Redd and DeVree spent time.

Former 2007 sixth-round draft pick CB Mike Richardson also knows spending time on the practice squad may be the key to sticking around. Richardson began the 2008 season on the practice squad before being signed to the active roster in October. He said he learned a lot just by watching the veterans. Richardson said in last year's camp that learning was half the battle.

"Just being able to read offenses and know what they're trying to do in certain situations." Richardson said was one important thing he learned while watching. "You never know when [the team] is going to lose somebody and there's always somebody ready to step in .

"It's anybody's job. Anybody who shows up and does the right things is who they're going to put out there."

Richardson, now in his third year, is the eldest of the returning corners New England has left after letting Lewis Sanders and Deltha O'Neal explore free agency and trading Ellis Hobbs to the Eagles.

Love's climb to the roster won't be easy, but that doesn't deter him from expressing confidence in his ability.

"I think I can make the club," Love said. "I train myself well I have a good support system behind me, so I'm going in head first."

Love returns to the Foxboro area July 21st. The Patriots officially open training camp July 30th. He'll have to show he learned something in minicamp if he wants a shot at unseating Richardson or one of the other defensive backs on the roster.

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