Cornerback Leigh Bodden was limited to nine games last year by recurring ankle problems. Bodden said Monday he’s not quite 100 percent following arthroscopic surgery in March, but he’s looking forward to a big year. The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram's Scott Petrak talked to Bodden at camp on Monday. Here's what he said:
How will the offseason additions help the defense in the 3-4 scheme?
They make a big difference, make us have depth. All those guys are good additions and are doing a great job. It’s been three years in the 3-4 while we really haven’t had the pieces. Now I think we have the pieces and just have to put them in place and go from there.
What will Gary Baxter’s anticipated return mean?
It means more depth in the secondary, it means leadership. He is really smart and real athletic. It will be emotional for him and the team to see a guy with that type of injury come back so fast. Hopefully he can get rolling and lift us up.
How’s the ankle?
It’s close to 100 percent. The work is good on the ankle. I’m taping it now and I used to wear braces. I’m stronger and just playing like I’m used to.”
Did the frustration of last year linger into the offseason?
It motivated me to get back out there. I was down during the season because I wasn’t playing, helping the team. During the offseason, I was just ready to work, ready to get back. That was all I focused on.
How do you view yourself after a year of injuries?
Oh, I’m still a No. 1 corner in this league. I feel like I’m one of tops in this league. I’ve just got to go out there and play 16 games and prove it.
Games that I have played, I’ve proved that I am one of the top corners in the league. I just plan on playing a full season and showing that to everybody.
Cornerback was a weak spot last year. What about 2007?
It’s definitely a strength of the team as long as we stay healthy. We have a lot of young guys who are fast and athletic. If we do stay healthy, we will be a strong secondary.