Is Stephon Gilmore’s recent success a case of mind over matter?

Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson explained Monday on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” what makes the New England Patriots wide receiver such a “special” player. Burleson closely examined the two interceptions Gilmore made Sunday in the Patriots’ 34-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals to pinpoint why he has played at an elite level in New England.

“Stephon Gilmore is a true shut-down corner(back), we’re talking All-Pro, not too many in the game,” Burleson said. “… (He’s) one of those guys we don’t talk about enough. Here’s the crazy part: he’s not running a 4.2 (40-yard dash), he’s not jumping a 45-inch vertical (leap). He’s one of the most intelligent minds at the cornerback position and he’s the perfect fit for that (defense) with the Patriots … .”

Gilmore’s standout performance in Week 15 strengthened his case to win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award. He now leads the NFL in interceptions with six, is on course for a second consecutive All-Pro selection and might become the first cornerback in 10 years to become the DPOY.

Although Burleson isn’t the first pundit to talk up Gilmore in recent months, his insight is a valuable contribution to the deserved parade of praise for the Patriots star.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports Images