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New England Patriots Links 7/15/11 - Leigh Bodden Tells Kids: Believe in Yourself, Work Hard, Know What You Want and Go Get It

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Alek Frost (National Football Authority) Patriots CB Leigh Bodden Proves heart and hard work pay off.

"It’s just (overcoming) odds," Bodden told me. "Nobody (thought) I could do it and I knew I could do it, I feel like I’m still among the best corners in the league and I feel like nobody can tell me different."

Despite Bodden’s success, teams questioned the validity of his numbers because of the competition he faced and whether or not his game would translate to the next level. Bodden went undrafted but eventually made the 53-man roster of the Cleveland Browns in 2003.

"Some teams were like the competition I faced wasn’t that great, how can I stack up to these guys that are in I-A and the superstars in the NFL?" Bodden said. "And I got there and I proved everybody wrong and I lasted, this is going (to be) my ninth year."

"I would just tell [every undrafted player trying to make a roster], work through everything, don’t get down on yourself and don’t get too high on yourself," he said. "I’ve been the lowest of the low and highest of the high. There was a time when I was the last corner to make the roster playing for Cleveland and that same year I ended up starting and got signed to an extension."

"The only positive I can [take from his 2010 season-ending injury] is I feel as if I may have added one or two years to my NFL life," he said. "Just not taking that pounding during the year, yes I had a shoulder injury but they repaired it and it feels great, luckily it wasn’t my legs. That’s what I really need to play."

"I feel like teams that have been together, that have veteran leadership and have veteran players, that have been there and know how to work (will have an advantage)," Bodden said. "I’m sure a coach like Bill (Belichick), is prepared for this lockout and knows what he wants to do when he gets there. He’ll have us on the same page working like we never missed a beat."

"Bill (Belichick) goes out and gets players, not because of a name but because of what they can bring and how they can help the team in the best way possible," he said. "Whereas (Detroit) was just going out and getting big name guys, that’s what I felt when I was there, they were trying to build a Tampa team, a Tampa-2 without Tampa players."

"I like to share my story with kids to show them that anything is possible," he said. "It can be possible as long as you believe in yourself and you work hard, know what you want and go out and get it."

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