If New England Patriots fans are looking for reasons to be optimistic about next season, they need look no further than the sizable chip apparently on players’ shoulders.
NFL Media’s Mike Giardi on Monday offered fascinating insight into Julian Edelman’s post-Tom Brady mindset. Later in the day, during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger & Mazz” show, Giardi provided further context on how multiple Patriots players — including Edelman — are approaching the 2020 campaign.
“I’m getting the sense that obviously (Edelman) misses (Brady and Rob Gronkowski),” Giardi said, “but that this is just the opposite, that, ‘Oh, we’ve been hearing now since the moment that Brady walked out the door that we’re not any good.’ And now Julian is taking it to the, ‘Oh, well I guess I just wasn’t any good, either. I made 100 catches last year playing on one leg and one arm for various points of the season, I guess I wasn’t any good either.’
“So, I think that there’s clear motivation, not just with him. I think with a lot of guys that are saying, ‘Hey, we’re a little better than you give us credit for. We’re not just gonna collapse because Tom Brady’s not the quarterback.’ ”
When asked specifically about players on the Patriots’ defense, Giardi added: “I think there’s a real point of pride … in general, that defense looks around and goes, ‘Yeah, we might be missing a couple pieces from last year at the linebacker level, but we’re returning the entire secondary, we’re still pretty much the same in the front-four, (Dont’a) Hightower’s still here, like, we were pretty good for for a real good portion of the year.’ … I think they will take that on their shoulders and say, ‘OK, it might take a little while for the offense to get where it needs to be, but we’re more than capable of carrying it until that point.’ ”
Clearly, the “us against the world” mentality will return for at least another season in Foxboro. Whether that will equate to another successful season remains to be seen.