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Patriots Links 7/08/09 - Leigh Bodden to Patriots, Match Made In Football Heaven

<em>DB Leigh Bodden in coverage during a drill at Gillette Stadium on 06/09/09.</em>
DB Leigh Bodden in coverage during a drill at Gillette Stadium on 06/09/09.

Jeff Howe notes the Leigh Bodden, Patriots match works for everyone.

Bodden, who was undrafted out of Duquesne in 2003, spent his first five seasons in Cleveland, and he really started to thrive once Romeo Crennel took over as head coach in 2005. Bodden earned a starting job midway through that season and flourished under Crennel’s zone defense, a similar system Bill Belichick employs in New England.

Once Bodden visited New England and met with Belichick, he canceled the rest of his meetings around the league and immediately signed a contract.

"I only visited here. I planned other visits, but I didn’t really feel like it was worth it," Bodden said. "You’ve got to love [Belichick]. When I first met with him, when I first came here on a visit, we just sat down and talked, and he’s just a down-to-earth guy. We talked football, background. He wants to win, and that’s what I want to do. That’s all that we’re here for."

Jason La Confora ( The battle of the best division comes down to the East.  Check out the accompanying AFC East preview and analysis too (3.06 min. video).

In many ways, this should be the cream of the crop, and I think it will be. To me, New England is the team to beat in the AFC East with a healthy Tom Brady. Miami might slip up some, but the New York Jets were pretty darn good for 12 weeks last season and could receive a boost from new coach Rex Ryan, while the Trent Edwards-to-T.O. express might help take Buffalo from a seven-win outfit to a team that stays in the hunt.

If I had to pick my Beast of the East, preseason version, I’m going to take the AFC East.