BUFFALO - Stephon Gilmore didn’t want to talk much about his return to Buffalo this past week. In fact, after pushing off his media responsibilities until Friday, the veteran cornerback did a one-and-done with a single reporter before disappearing into the training room.
After the Patriots’ 23-3 win over the Bills at New Era Field, Gilmore had no problem making himself present and accounted for, sifting through one wave of questions after another with a thin but satisfied smile on his face. He had come back to the place where he spent 5 years toiling in relative anonymity and played well against his former team, the one that made no effort to bring him back.
“You know that’s part of how it is and how its run,” said Gilmore. “It is what it is. I know what type of player I am. They’ve got to handle whatever they’ve got going and I am happy over here where I’m at.”
- Brady says spat with McDaniels is 'just football'
- Gronkowski apologizes for cheap shot, but frustrated with lack of calls
- Best and Worst: Patriots 23, Bills 3
The Buffalo fanbase didn’t treat Gilmore all that way, booing him after he made his first tackle and then repeating that refrain every time Gilmore’s name was announced over the PA.
“Yeah, I’m not surprised. You know how it is. They are fans and they feel some type of way that I am on the Patriots, so it’s all good.”
It seemed the Bills wanted to attack Gilmore in this game, especially in the red area. They went there after an impressive opening drive but the 27-year old was up to the challenge, getting a good jam on rookie Zay Jones as he tried to get off the line of scrimmage. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor pulled off that route and instead threw one of the most awful passes you’ll ever see, getting intercepted by Eric Lee at the goal line.
“For sure, he (Taylor) likes to throw in-cut routes and I had to get a good jam on him (Jones). I had help on the inside and he came off of him and Eric Lee made a great play.”
The Bills decided to go back there again late in the game, hoping to get a late touchdown. But Gilmore responded on back-to-back plays by breaking up passes in the end zone, the last coming on a 4th down. Gilmore believed he was being targeted and was pleased to respond in that fashion.
“It felt good,” he said. “ I didn’t want to let them score. I wanted to be aggressive and make play. I did that.”
That clearly stuck in Gilmore’s craw a bit.
“I mean they threw it my way three or four times in the red zone. I’m like, ‘They are really trying to score a touchdown on me no matter how much they’re down.’”
Gilmore can crow a little bit. He’s on a consistent winner now, something that he could never claim as a Bill. And this feeling - the Pats have won 8 in a row and the defense has allowed 17 points or less in each and every one of those contests - is one Gilmore can get used to.
Do you like what winning feels like?