Malcolm Mitchell only spent two seasons with the New England Patriots, but it’s clear the leaders of the franchise left a lasting impression on the 25-year-old.
Mitchell, a fourth-round pick by the Patriots in 2016, recently appeared on “The Michael Holley Podcast” and gushed over Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and newly retired pass-catcher Rob Gronkowski.
When it comes to Brady, Mitchell was in awe of the star quarterback’s work ethic.
“What makes him so different is his commitment,” Mitchell said, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “Most people see sport as ‘oh, this is something you do.’ I think Tom has transcended that into something completely different, as in ‘no, this is a way of life.’ There is no offseason because this is me 24/7 every day of the year.”
Mitchell also credited Belichick for aiding his development as both a player and a person.
“Accountability,” Mitchell said. “There are things I don’t think he realized he was doing for me as an individual … The level of accountability that he enforces is — it makes you grow as an individual. You don’t have a choice.”
As for Gronkowski, the Georgia product couldn’t offer much higher of praise.
“Electrifying,” Mitchell said. “The way he electrifies a group — I think he’s the best football player I’ve ever seen play the game. There was nothing you could do to stop him … I just have not seen that kind of dominance ever.”
Mitchell retired in late March after battling knee injuries. His best performance in a Patriots uniform came in the biggest moment, though, as he corralled six catches for 70 yards in New England’s thrilling Super Bowl LI win over the Atlanta Falcons.