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Belichick praises ex-Jet Ihedigbo

JAMES IHEDIGBO, Defensive back His parents moved to

JAMES IHEDIGBO, Defensive back
His parents moved to the U.S. from Nigeria 30 years ago and both received their doctorates from the University of Massachusetts. Credit: Joe Rogate

Apparently the Patriots saw something in James Ihedigbo that Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan didn’t.

After four years with the Jets, Ihedigbo signed with the Patriots -- much to the delight of Bill Belichick.

“He’s had another solid year for us,” the Patriots head coach said of the safety/special teamer, who is an Amherst, Mass., native. “Came in primarily with a lot of experience in the kicking game, seeing from when he was with the Jets and how well and how hard he played against us there. His role has expanded a little bit defensively, but I think he’s still pretty much the same player.”

Belichick praised Ihedigbo, who made his mark in New England after injuries wreaked havoc on its secondary, for being a tough, smart guy who is a leader in the backfield.

“He’s a hard worker,” the coach said. “He’s a really diligent guy, he knows the game plan, he studies the opponents well, does a good job of communicating that on the field. He’s tough. A contact-player that is physical taking on blockers, physical tackler. Does a good job for us in the kicking game.

“Got a lot of value for us in a lot of different areas.”

New York Sports