Two and a half weeks ago — on the Sept. 4 roster cut-down day, to be exact — Love was hanging around his place when he got a call from his parents.
"I was sitting around," Love said, "and they called me like, 'Congratulations.' I'm like, 'Congratulations for what?' They said, 'You made the team.' I didn’t know that."
Love's parents read an online report that said he earned a spot on the Patriots' initial 53-man roster. He didn’t hear from his agent or any team officials, and the good word came from thirdhand information.
Love, who has dressed for both of the Patriots' games but hasn’t recorded any statistics, is used to a little chaos, though. His father was in the United States Army, and Love has lived all across the globe. He was born in South Korea and he and his family also lived in St. Louis, Florida, Atlanta and (he thinks) Boston. Love's older sister was also born in Japan, and Love played college ball at Mississippi State, which added to his world tour.
Love, like linebacker Dane Fletcher, was an undrafted free agent and had long odds to make the roster, but he's been through some real seasoning and fought through that uphill battle. Even now, he's making sure he won't let up just because he's on the roster.
"You never really make the team," Love said. "It's a fight the whole season. You can be here today, gone tomorrow. You never really know what is going to happen. Your best bet is to keep fighting and keep pushing."
Love has taken that mentality one step further on the field. He is a defensive tackle by trade — and played in a number of packages Sunday against the run-heavy Jets — but the Patriots have also given him some reps at end, which is, to some extent, an easier position to handle. That must be why Love hates to play it.
"I feel more comfortable at nose, but I can play the end, too," Love said. "I like [battling inside]. Some people say they don’t like that, but I like it. I like having to fight two or three guys."
That’s just a page taken from his parents' book, and it has helped him get this far in his football career. And hey, if it weren’t for them, there's no telling when he would have found out he made the team.
"My expectations were just to fight and give it my all," Love said. "That’s all my parents ask of me is [to] give everything. Never leave anything undone. Those were my expectations — fight [because] nothing was going to be given to me. I've got to take what I want, and that’s how I treated it."
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