New England Patriots great Ty Law had some harsh words for his former team’s struggling defense Tuesday during an appearance on FS1’s “Undisputed.”
Speaking two days after the Patriots surrendered 31 points at home in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Law said the unit needs “to have some damn pride, and go out there and make something happen.”
“I’m waiting to see who’s going to be that guy,” the former All-Pro cornerback said. “Because you didn’t have to have that in our locker room. You had Willie McGinest, myself, Tedy Bruschi, we had guys that will step up and play. Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison — we had outspoken, vocal, competitive people, we competed amongst ourselves.
“So that’s what they have to find, that magic that we had back then. Because it wasn’t about just the offense. It was more of a defensive team. And then (quarterback Tom) Brady became Brady, but at the time, he didn’t have to carry the load. So the defense, in my opinion, needs to start taking it personal with all the criticism that they’re getting right now.”
Two members of the Patriots’ leadership — defensive co-captain Devin McCourty and special teams captain Matthew Slater — responded to Law’s comments Wednesday.
“It’s simple: We’ve just got to play better,” McCourty said. “There’s nothing I can say to calm (concerns about the defense) or anything. We’ve just got to go out there and play better. That’s what everyone in our locker room and everyone on defense wants to do. There’s nothing to say. You’ve just got to go do it.”
He added: “We can hoot and holler and yell and scream, but leaders have to play better.”
Slater offered a similar message, preaching accountability and team unity.
“I’m confident in the men that we have in this locker room,” Slater said. “I think that there is some great leadership there. Everyone leads differently, though. And that’s something that I certainly understand and guys understand that.
“Obviously, we all need to hold each other accountable to do our jobs at a high level. We play for one another, so ultimately, everybody could do a better job when you look back at the tape after a loss. And everybody can say, ‘If I had done that, if they had done that.’ But we’re one or two plays away from coming out with a different story.”
The Patriots rank a respectable sixth in the NFL in points allowed per game this season, but they are 26th in takeaways (nine) and tied for 25th in sacks (16).
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images