Rumors of the death of the “Patriot Way” have run rampant over the past few weeks. Tom Brady isn’t buying them.
The All-Pro quarterback and the Patriots’ longest-tenured player spoke Thursday for the first time since Aaron Hernandez‘s arrest on murder charges, and Brady was very adamant that the “Patrtiot Way” is still very much in existence.
“To win football games and to represent the community? No question,” Brady said when asked if the way still existed. “I think that’s what we show up here every day for.”
Hernandez’s connection to and subsequent charge in the June 17 death of Odin Lloyd seemed to tarnish the somewhat sparkling reputation the Patriots had built over the past decade-plus. It led some columnists, talking heads and fans to question the Patriots’ approach and debate whether the organization had, in fact, lost its way.
Brady was quick to put those notions to rest Thursday, even digging deeper into his understanding of that Patriot Way and explaining that it goes far beyond just the team the Patriots roll out on the field on Sundays.
“Boston has a strong sense of community, and that’s one part of the reason why people, and why I love being here, and why this is my home,” Brady said. “It’s because of the community that exists, especially within the sports franchises. It brings so many people together and we’ve had such great success on the field over the last 12 or 13 years in all of our teams.
“So many people come out and support us and you’re in a community. You’re at the shopping mall or the gas station and people are supporting you. That’s really a great thing to be a part of, to have that type of support from everyone here. That’s who we go out and play for: we play for the people that come out and watch us and cheer for us and buy our jerseys. That’s a really cool thing, so hopefully we can go out and do the same thing this year.”
Devin McCourty expanded on Brady’s comments Thursday, describing the team’s specific goals and just what being a Patriot really means.
“[We want] all the guys we have here to keep doing the right things and doing the things this team believes in, which is winning games and doing great things in the community,” McCourty said. “We have a large number of guys who have done that now and have done that in the history of this organization. I feel fortunate enough to be a part of it and I’ve learned from former players, guys who have played here that I’ve gotten a chance to meet, on how to do things and what’s expected.”
The expectations for Brady, McCourty and the Patriots are only slightly different than they’ve been. Things on the field will remain exactly the same, as will their goals for the upcoming season — undoubtedly still a Super Bowl title. Now, they just need to ignore the noise about Hernandez, Alfonzo Dennard‘s drunk-driving-related arrest or any other off-field issues and prove that that “Patriot Way” is as alive as ever.
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