FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung, for some reason, is one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
For four years he’s been a starting defender on the league’s best team. His primary position is strong safety, but he’ll move to linebacker and even slot cornerback on any given snap. He’s a rare athlete in his ability to play so many roles on a football field, and he goes largely unheralded.
Perhaps that’s because he rarely speaks to the media and doesn’t seem to care about recognition.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is never shy to hype Chung.
“The guy is a really good football player,” Belichick said last week. “He’s one of the best players in the league, one of the best players on our team. He does a lot of things very well and has done them that way for a long time. We’re lucky we have him. He’s an outstanding player in all the things that he does. We put a lot on him, and he always comes through.”
So, what was Chung’s reaction to Belichick saying those kind words?
“It only means something if I play good this next game, so we’ll see how that goes,” Chung said.
He’s a man of few words. As he found himself on a podium in front of a crowded group of reporters, Chung was asked if he likes the media hype that precludes a Super Bowl, his fourth.
“Absolutely not,” Chung said.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images