Harmon embraces Patriots 'swagger' and non-complacency


Harmon embraces Patriots 'swagger' and non-complacency

FOXBORO -- A familiar refrain was heard across the National Football League this spring: are you bleeping kidding me? The Patriots got that guy?? Bleep. Whether it be Brandin Cooks or Stephon Gilmore or - to a lesser degree - the likes of Kony Ealy, Mike Gilislee and Rex Burkhead, the Pats offseason activities made the defending Super Bowl champs a more talented team, at least on paper. 

“That just shows that this is a team that’s always looking to get better,” Duron Harmon told me. “The players aren’t complacent. The coaches aren’t complacent. The organization isn’t complacent, and I just think when you have that type of mindset coming from up top, coaches, players, the organization, it is easy for the players not to get complacent. We know we have to continue to get better, continue to work. We gotta do everything we did and more last year to try to do what we want to do again this year.”

Harmon has a terrific perspective on the how the operation is run. He has consistently improved, to the point where he was a fairly well sought after free agent. But his first choice was to return to Foxboro, and the two sides made it happen. Was there more money elsewhere? Yes, but the steady Harmon embraces being a Patriot and embraces those around him. 

“When you have a good group of guys, I think that’s what makes playing this sport for this team even better, that’s what makes me even more excited,” he said. “Being able to go out there with a great group of guys, guys that I love and depend on {and} they depend on me… when you have that type of chemistry, that brotherly love, it makes playing football more fun and easier.”

Easier is an interesting word choice. There’s nothing easy about being a member of this team, this organization. Forget about expectations outside the building, the ones inside are far greater, and more pressure-filled than anything we could cook up. That said, the continued success provides an obvious ground floor for the players to build off - hey, you’re Super Bowl champs - and that wealth of experience in all sorts of situations breeds confidence.

“We get the swagger more so from the work we put in,” said Harmon. “If you look at how we practice, how hard we practice, how much work we put in with the weights, the film room, iI think that’s what gives us our swagger because we really believe - I believe - no teams, or very few teams, put in the amount of work we put in. That gives us the type of confidence so that when we got out there we say we’ve seen this before, we’ve been thru this before so let’s just go out here, play by the rules and everything will be fine.”

Coaches and teammates alike point to Harmon as one of the steadiest voices heard throughout the season and certainly at halftime of the Super Bowl. Listening to him talk tells you exactly why.

Tom Brady shows support for Julian Edelman in WRs return to field

Tom Brady shows support for Julian Edelman in WRs return to field

Tom Brady may not be at OTAs, but he tipped his cap to a teammate who was.

Brady liked a New England Patriots Instagram post, which showed receiver Julian Edelman in his return to practice after an ACL injury. The Patriots started their offseason team activities on Monday, and Edelman was grinding away after an offseason of rehab. Brady has elected to skip the start of the voluntary OTAs. 

Report: Gronk, Patriots working on another contract restructuring

Report: Gronk, Patriots working on another contract restructuring

While Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski continue to stay away from Patriots OTAs this week comes an NFL Network report that Gronk and the Patriots are working on a restructured contract that per NFL rules can't be announced until Thursday - May 24 - a year to the date of last year's restructuring.

The Patriots have an OTA session scheduled for Thursday, so we could see Gronk back in the fold with a redone deal then. 

The restructuring last year added incentives that boosted Gronk's salary to $10.2 million. This year's base salary is $8 million. The All-Pro tight end has contemplated retirement this offseason and wasn't happy last season.