Patriots

Wilfork's message for 2017 Patriots: 'Prove you're good'

Wilfork's message for 2017 Patriots: 'Prove you're good'

FOXBORO -- The humble pie assembly line is already cranking. 

With sky-high expectations heaped upon the 2017 Patriots before they've even taken the field for their first preseason game, there has been an overwhelming effort to shift the pendulum back in the opposite direction. Coaches, current players, former players. They're all in on it. 

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In the spring, Bill Belichick emphatically, rightfully, pointed out that this year's club had accomplished nothing. Matthew Slater said it was "disrespectful" for people to be talking about the Patriots potentially going undefeated, and Devin McCourty echoed his fellow captain's sentiments by saying that kind of discussion is "ludicrous."

On Tuesday, Willie McGinest spoke to the team and shared an ignore-the-noise kind of message. He knows what the talk has been this offseason after the defending champions appeared to improve their roster this offseason. 

Then, on Wednesday, at the end of Vince Wilfork's retirement ceremony, the former Patriots defensive tackle said this year's team has to prove its worth since it has done zero to this point in the summer.

"If I had to tell them anything it's just that . . . prove it," Wilfork said. "Prove you're good. Prove you are champions. Don't believe it. Just prove it. It's easy to believe in your heart and in your mind that you're good, you're great. You can believe that. But prove it. I want to see it. Everybody else wants to see it. So I don't talk about how good we're going to be. Prove it to me. That's what I would tell them . . . Prove that you want to be Super Bowl champions. Prove it. That's what I would give them."

As a member of two different teams that "proved it," Wilfork's words would probably carry some weight for any 2017 Patriots players who may have started to buy in to the media coverage they've received to this point. 

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Did the 2001 New England Patriots believe they were launching a dynasty after winning Super Bowl XXXVI? Probably not.

But the defending Super Bowl champions appear a bit more confident.

Days after signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the richest contract in North American sports, the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract extension with defensive tackle Chris Jones, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

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So, how did Jones celebrate his new deal with Kansas City? By declaring an apparent continuation of the Chiefs' "dynasty."

Jones has every reason to be confident in his team, which kept its core intact after winning Super Bowl LIV and is the current Super Bowl LV favorite.

But Patriots fans who watched Bill Belichick and Tom Brady guide New England to six championships over two decades might view Jones' "dynasty" talk as premature.

After all, no team has won back-to-back titles since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and no team aside from New England and Seattle (2013 and 2014) has even reached the Super Bowl in back-to-back years since 2000.

And after signing Cam Newton, the Patriots may believe their own dynasty isn't over yet despite Brady's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

History won't stop Jones and the Chiefs from setting lofty goals, however, as Mahomes said recently he's eyeing Brady's record of six Super Bowl titles. Better get started soon.

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

If you rooted for Tom Brady and don’t for Cam Newton, you are a hypocrite. 

In 2014, the Patriots started the season 2-2 and after a humiliating loss on Monday Night Football in Kansas City, some idiot — that would be me — declared that the Pats had lost their soul.

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Of course, I was wrong as the greatest quarterback ever went on to the lead the Pats to their fourth Super Bowl win with a big assist from Malcolm Butler. 

That was Part 2 of the "Tom Brady: Me Against the World" trilogy.

Of course, the original was getting drafted as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. Part 3 was Deflategate when Brady won his fifth Super Bowl after he was suspended for four games.

For the purpose of this writing, we focus on Part 2 because some thought Brady’s best days were behind him. (Many feel the same about Cam Newton now.) Even Bill Belichick said Tom was getting older and the plans for his successor in Jimmy Garoppolo were laid out before us ... and Brady.  

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

But once again, Brady defied the odds and forced Belichick to trade Jimmy G. to San Francisco. Needing to prove he still had it, Brady reinvented himself and became a physical specimen, defying Father Time.

Can Cam Newton do the same? He is not as old now as Brady was then, but this guy was left for dead by the rest of the NFL and has even more to prove than Brady ever did.

If you backed Tom Brady, how can you not do the same for Cam?

Look, I love Tom Brady the football player. Off the field, I think he’s lost his mind, but there has been no better player in the history of sports than TB12. (See Tom, I used your logo. Happy?)

However, right now I am in Cam’s corner like I was in Brady’s when he was a Patriot. And you should be too.