FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — A splattering of red and white overtook the New England Patriots? locker room Wednesday morning.
Lost were the Pats? traditional dark blue uniforms, which were
replaced in each locker stall by the throwback versions they?ll wear
for their regular-season opener Monday night against the Buffalo Bills
at Gillette Stadium.
Patriots? uniforms ? with the ?Pat the
Patriot? logo on a white helmet, along with red jerseys and white pants
? will replicate those worn by the 1963 team that claimed the
organization?s first division title and played in the American Football
League championship game. The Bills will wear replicas from their
1965AFL championship season. It?s all part of a yearlong campaign to
celebrate the AFL?s 50th anniversary season.
?I like [the uniforms],? Patriots cornerback Shawn Springs said. ?White makes you look good.?
wasn?t alone with that sentiment. A handful of players were walking
around the locker room wearing their new helmets during the team?s
45-minute media session.
The Patriots will wear their throwbacks as part of AFL
Legacy Games three other times this season ? Oct. 11 at Denver, Oct. 18
against Tennessee and Dec. 6 at Miami. While the players are excited
about the idea of sporting the flashy throwbacks, running back Kevin Faulk also looked at the laundry with a cold dose of reality.
?They?re not going to win the game for us,? Faulk said. ?They may look good, but they?re not going to win the game for us.?
Patriots, who are wearing their red uniforms during a home game for the
first time since their 1992 season finale, will also honor their
All-Time Team during halftime against the Bills. Even though members of
the current team will be in the locker room concerning themselves with
the game at hand, they?re excited to perform in front of the players
who helpedjumpstart the 50-year-old organization.
?It?s a wonderful thing because those guys paved the way for us,? second-year cornerback Jonathan Wilhite
said. ?I think they really know what these old helmets and uniforms
stand for. It?s a chance for not only us, but the crowd and the fans
and people watching on TV to see who made this [organization] for us.
It?s a positive thing for the program and the franchise.?
While some of the younger players are hoping for an opportunity to meet with some of the Patriots? legends, left guard Logan Mankins ? who is one of six current Patriots on the All-Time Team, including head coach Bill Belichick ? has already spent plenty of time with former left guard John Hannah,
considered by many to be the greatest offensive lineman of all-time.
Obviously, the game has changed since Hannah played in Foxborough, but
Mankins has picked his brain about Hannah?s work ethic and leadership
is another player who thinks the old-school uniforms are a nice touch,
but he probably won?t be stopping by any mirrors on the way out to the
haven?t put them on yet,? Mankins said, ?but usually linemen look
pretty fat in white pants, so I?m sure that?s how we?ll look.?