Patriots relying on newcomers in secondary

New England’s defensive backs are trying to prepare for a

quarterback they’ve hardly seen.

The same can be said of Kansas City’s Tyler Palko getting ready

for the Patriots’ secondary, which has been spread thin by recent


”Whenever you’re number is called, you just have to adapt. See

your role and just be ready,” said cornerback Kyle Arrington, one

of New England’s few defensive backs who hasn’t been knocked out of

the lineup this season. ”You always have to prepare like you’re

going to be out there.”

Sterling Moore is coming off his first career start and

preparing for may be his second in a row. A cornerback the Patriots

picked up after he was released by Oakland, stepped in at safety as

Patrick Chung was out with a foot injury.

Antwaun Molden, who was claimed off waivers in September, had to

take over at corner when starter Devin McCourty injured his right

his shoulder during the first half of a win over the Jets.

If Chung and McCourty are still out Monday, the Patriots will

have to rely once again on some of their newest players when they

host the Chiefs on Monday night.

”It’s a great opportunity for us to continue the success that

we had in the secondary last week,” Moore said before practice


The Patriots will be going up against Palko, who is making his

first career start and has played in only two games this season.

There isn’t a lot of video to review on Palko, who replaced former

Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel.

The patched-up secondary helped keep New York’s Mark Sanchez in

check as the Patriots won 37-16. Sanchez passed for 306 yards, but

completed only 20 of 39 passes and was intercepted twice by

linebacker Rob Ninkovich.

Backup safety Josh Barrett was placed on injured reserve last

week, opening a spot on the active roster for Moore, an undrafted

free agent who went through training camp with the Raiders but was

a late cut.

”It was kind of hectic last week, especially earlier in the

week knowing that I might have a chance to get out there. A lot

more playbook study and a lot more film watching. It’s nothing that

I’m not too used to,” Moore said. ”I’m definitely getting a lot

more comfortable with the guys that I’m back there with. I know

we’ve got a lot of interchanging parts but we’re pretty comfortable

with who we’ve got back there.”

The Patriots have also been using cornerback Phillip Adams the

last few weeks. He has been off and on the active roster since the

Patriots picked him up in September after he was released by San


New England started another undrafted rookie at linebacker last

week when Jeff Tarpinian stepped in for Brandon Spikes. Tarpinian

was actually more experienced than some of his newer teammates,

subbing in six games before getting the start.

Even with all the new faces, the New England defense had one of

its best games of the season. It wasn’t enough to bump the Patriots

from last place on the NFL total defense standings, but the

Patriots played well enough to win and take control of the AFC


Andre Carter, another newcomer to New England, set a franchise

record with 4 1-2 sacks and was named AFC defensive player of the

week. The Patriots picked up the veteran as a free agent in


”All these guys, I’m talking offense, defense, special teams –

this team – works very, very hard. When you have a guy go out and

put up a performance like Andre did, you can’t be nothing but happy

for him,” nose tackle Vince Wilfork said. ”To be good you have to

be able to make adjustments at times. We’ve handled it well so far

and hopefully we can continue to get better.”