Bodden eager to get back to work with Pats

DALLAS — If Leigh Bodden keeps up this pattern, he’s in for a great 2011 season.

You may remember that Bodden had a great year in 2007, recording a career-high six interceptions for the Cleveland Browns. Somehow, that earned him a one-way ticket to Detroit where he endured an 0-16 season with the Lions.

In 2009, he signed with the Patriots and led the team with five interceptions.

And that was the last time we saw him. The Patriots locked Bodden up with a long-term deal, but a shoulder injury ended the cornerback’s 2010 season before it started.

“That was tough,” Bodden said. “Coming from Detroit, being on an 0-16 team and coming to New England and having a great season.

“Coming in, sign the contract, I thought I was going to have another huge year and then this happens. But you know what, I look on the bright side and it’s probably a blessing in disguise. Next year, I’m going to try to stay healthy and I’m going to have my best season.”

Bodden said he’ll be ready to go once football rolls around again.

“It’s been five months, so the rehab is going great,” he said. “It’s a six-month injury so I’ve been lifting the last couple weeks, doing push-ups and things like that and it’s starting to feel like a shoulder again.”

Bodden is eager to join a promising, young Patriots defense and team up with rookie Pro Bowler Devin McCourty.

“He’s a good talent, good kid, has a good head on his shoulders,” Bodden said of McCourty. “Great instincts, speed and he showed it this year.

“To go 14-2 with such a young group, I can’t wait to join those guys and be that veteran leader and get better as a whole defensive unit.”

— Aron Angel

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