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Molden steps up as Bodden steps out
FOXBORO - Antwaun Molden was a project when he came out of Eastern Kentucky in 2008.
The Texans took him in the third round. The sentiment then was that he was probably taken too high. That changed to "definitely taken too high" when he was released at the end of training camp.
Now he's the Patriots corner most likely to get additional reps with the surprising release of Leigh Bodden on Friday.
Molden's eyes widened with surprise on Friday when I told him Bodden had been released. Having been cut less than two months ago himself, though, Molden meant it when he used the common "it's-a-business" refrain to move away from talking about a decision that's well above his pay grade.
It is a business, indeed. And now Molden is going from a guy only devotees had heard of to one of the guys replacing a big-ticket free agent signing from 2010 that went belly-up in a big hurry. How Molden does his business will reflect on how the Patriots are doing theirs.
Kyle Arrington and Devin McCourty are likely to be the Sunday starters for the Patriots. Ras-I Dowling would come next, but he's hurt (still . . . again). So Molden will be in the mix against the Steelers.
He's 6-foot-1, 198 pounds, long and athletic with excellent speed (sub-4.5) While in college, he transferred from the University of Toledo to Eastern Kentucky because he wasn't happy with his playing time. He really only had one year of low-level college football before being drafted.
He played 35 defensive snaps in three years with the Texans. And the Texans couldn't cover anybody while Molden was there, so that seems damning. But the Patriots have turned other teams' trash into their own treasure often enough to used that evidence as conclusive that Molden can't play.
Asked how he's progressed since being signed August 31, Molden said, "It's come along pretty good. I just have to stay consistent and do the things the coaches ask me to do and get better at it."
And overall defensively?
"I think we jelled as a team and we've been consistent with things that we've been doing," he explained. "We just have to keep getting better at the little things."
Boilerplate stuff from a player about to be put in the frying pan aganst the Steelers.
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