FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots pass rushers Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise and Derek Rivers might not be the first players on the practice field, but they’re regularly the last to leave.
Wise and Rivers have made a habit out of spending extra time together after practice working against blocking dummies on their pass-rush technique. Although he’s hesitant to call himself a leader, Flowers, a third-year player, has been known to join them in a teaching role. That’s just the Patriot Way, and it’s how Flowers was treated by older veterans like Rob Ninkovich when he arrived as a rookie in 2015.
“If I had a question or if I had something to ask some of the older guys, then they definitely would help me with the techniques, help me understand the techniques, understand how they played or how the coaches wanted it to be played,” Flowers said. “I just was out there after practice, and they came over, and I just shared some insights.”
Flowers said Wise and Rivers’ “dedication to getting better” has stood out to him so far.
“There’s things from the college level to the professional level, you gotta be pros, so you’re not going to have anyone asking you to do stuff or asking you to do things,” Flowers said. “You have to pretty much do stuff on your own and work on your craft. For them to go out there and understand the point of that, understand the point of working on their craft is definitely (good).”
Wise, who like Flowers is an Arkansas product, could see a starting role in 2017. He’s been working opposite Flowers on the first-team defense since Ninkovich announced his retirement last week.
Flowers is one of only a handful of sure-thing starters in the Patriots’ front seven, along with Dont’a Hightower at linebacker and Malcom Brown and Alan Branch (once he returns off the PUP list) at defensive tackle.
The other defensive end spot opposite Flowers and two other linebacker roles are up for grabs. Wise, Harvey Langi, Shea McClellin, Kyle Van Noy and David Harris all have received first-team reps.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images