While “Do Your Job Part 2” looked at Super Bowl LI through the lens of New England Patriots coaches, “America’s Game: 2016 Patriots” focused on the players.
Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, wide receiver Julian Edelman and linebacker Dont’a Hightower were interviewed for the special. Edelman, while reading from his children’s book, “Flying High,” was at his most squirrely.
Here’s what we learned about the Patriots from the show, which aired Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NFL Network.
— When quarterback Tom Brady returned from his four-game suspension last season, wide receiver Julian Edelman “may have” started a “Brady” chant. Running back LeGarrette Blount said Brady’s “face was turning all red” from all the attention. You’d think Brady would be used to attention by now.
— Edelman said his connection on the field with Brady is “like two dolphins. We’ve got sonar. I know where Flip’s at. Skip’s over here. Flip and Skip. We’re just throwing sonars off each other.” He wasn’t quite sure if that one landed, so he went with “peas and carrots.” The sonar line was better.
— Linebacker Dont’a Hightower was strikingly honest when he described what it’s been like playing for Bill Belichick and Alabama head coach Nick Saban, saying, “I’m very lucky and blessed. It’s worth it, but it’s been hell. I’d be lying if I said anything different.”
Hightower did at least say that with a smile on his face.
Saban was Belichick’s defensive coordinator during the Patriots head coach’s time with the Cleveland Browns. “They’re literally the exact same,” Hightower said.
— Hightower’s actual first name is Qualin, pronounced quayle-in. Edelman and Blount didn’t even know that.
— Blount said no one on the team agreed with Belichick’s decision to trade linebacker Jamie Collins last season. But Blount also said he understands everything Belichick does is in the best interest of the team.
— Edelman’s childhood dogs were named “Dwight” and “Montana” after San Francisco 49ers legends Dwight Clark and Joe Montana. How many families in New England do you think have dogs named Brady and Jules?
— Hightower described Blount as “like the cool dude in school. Everyone wants to be around LG.”
— Edelman is tired of seeing his quarterback try to block downfield.
“He lives for that block,” Edelman said. “I don’t know why. I’m like, ‘Bro, get down and get out of the way. Stop with the skiing and stop with the blocking. I don’t want to talk about it again. No more waterfalls, just distribute the football.”
— Blount said there was no panic once the Patriots went down 21-3 at halftime in Super Bowl LI because they had the greatest quarterback of all time and the greatest head coach of all time.
— Edelman said he was only “90 percent sure” he caught his incredible Super Bowl LI grab. But he knew he could sell it by celebrating.
— Hightower said that outside of his family, he doesn’t think anyone was more proud of his Super Bowl LI performance than Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Hightower also said Patricia would lose any “swag” he has if he shaved his beard.
Patricia told Hightower after the game, “Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. That’s you!”
— Blount wouldn’t kiss the Lombardi Trophy. “Too many hands been on it.” So, he hugged it instead.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images
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