The New England Patriots bolstered their pass rush while giving up almost nothing last week, trading the 64th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for defensive end Kony Ealy and the 72nd selection.
Ealy addressed the New England media for the first time Thursday, expressing his excitement about the opportunity to play for a perennial Super Bowl contender.
“Well, first of all, I would just like to thank New England and the whole front office for allowing me to come and learn from the greats, learning how to take my game and bring it to the next level,” Ealy said. “(I’m) just coming in and trying to help contribute to another winning season.”
Among the “greats” Ealy hopes to learn from is Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, whom the 25-year-old defender believes can help make him a better pass rusher.
“Well, other than him being a Hall of Fame quarterback, which he is, he’s also a great guy,” Ealy said of Brady. “I’m just kind of developing my off-the-field conversations. When you meet different types of people, you learn a lot, and hopefully I get to gain some of that from him and other teammates, as well, just by nice conversation.
“But on the field, he’s a smart quarterback. He sees things that sometimes it takes a half for other people to see, and that’s why he’s so successful. But just trying to match his intensity. I know he’s a hard worker, but just trying to match his intensity like it’s game day. That’s going to be big for me.”
Ealy is entering his fourth NFL season. He spent the first three with the Panthers, playing in 47 of a possible 48 games and totaling 14 sacks.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images’