FOXBORO, Mass. — Some notes and nuggets from a rain-soaked Day 9 of New England Patriots training camp:
— Defensive end Trey Flowers has maintained his humble attitude even after his breakout 2016 season. After Saturday’s practice, Flowers shared an entertaining story about how he developed that mindset in the first place.
“I had a lesson taught (to me) at a young age,” he said. “It was through a different sport, but my mom pretty much just told me that God don’t like you to boast and brag about stuff.”
That other sport was basketball — middle school basketball, to be exact. Apparently, Flowers was quite the hoops star back in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala., and he let that early success get to his head.
“It was early on,” Flowers said. “I had just played a game, and I think I scored probably 38 of the 47 points that our team had. And I started — you know, you’re young, you just start teasing your brothers and stuff. They never did what you did, and you think you’re the big shot.”
Flowers quickly learned, however, that results like that wouldn’t always come so easily.
“I think the next game, I scored three points total,” he said. “So my mom kind of let me know that God don’t like that. Ever since then, I’ve been as humble as I can be.”
After losing most of his first NFL season to injury, Flowers burst onto the scene last fall, leading the Patriots in sacks with seven and adding 2 1/2 more in Super Bowl LI.
Following the departures of Chris Long, Jabaal Sheard and Rob Ninkovich, the 23-year-old suddenly finds himself as the de facto leader of New England’s revamped defensive end group, which remains in a state of flux in the wake of Ninkovich’s retirement last week.
— Running back Brandon Bolden had the quote of the day when describing his 5-month-old daughter, Axelle.
“She’s been a great kid,” Bolden said. “Doesn’t cry a lot. Smiles, laughs, eats and poops. Living the life. Who doesn’t want that?”
— Rob Gronkowski even knows how to make false starts entertaining.
Early in Saturday’s practice, he fired off the line early and sprinted a solid 10 yards downfield before realizing the ball had not been snapped. The result: a lap, the standard punishment for any player who jumps offsides during practice.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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