At a recent Nike camp in Houston, new Patriots receiver Nate Washington bumped into Patriots Hall of Famer Willie McGinest and got an idea of what will be expected of him in New England.
"The number one thing that he just told me is, 'It’s going to be good for you because they are going to pay attention to the detail and they’re going to get you in the aspect of making sure that you’re pushing yourself every single day,' " Washington told reporters on Tuesday. "Those guys in that locker-room, they work hard every single day and don’t take a day off. And those coaches, they work hard every single day and don’t take a day or a minute off.
"To be in that type of atmosphere gave me some type of understanding especially not only I’m at this point of my career but in this point of my life to what I needed. I needed a bunch of guys that were going to make me better. Although I’m 32 and although this is my 12th year in the league I do feel that I can get better physically and mentally and I needed to be around a core of guys that can push me to that point."
Washington and McGinest never played together in the NFL, but Washington never forgot an encounter they had years ago. As a young player Washington introduced himself to McGinest, and to his surprise the three-time Super Bowl champion already knew who Washington was. Ever since they've maintained a mutual respect for one another.
Knowing what McGinest was able to accomplish in New England, Washington was excited to get started on his own Patriots chapter.
"I think that the relationship would just really be a mutual respect for each other," Washington said. "I think he’s a tremendous guy that put in a lot of work in his career. How could I as a younger guy not want to be or follow in those footsteps?"