Harmon on Patriots success: 'Nobody can take this from us, we earned it'

Harmon on Patriots success: 'Nobody can take this from us, we earned it'

BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota -- Barry Sanders. Dick Butkus. Steve Largent. Eric Dickerson. Gale Sayers. John Randall. LaDainian Tomlinson. Dan Dierdorf. Derrick Thomas. Lee Roy Selmon. Earl Campell. Deacon Jones. 

What do all those Hall of Famers have in common?

None ever played on the game’s biggest stage, the Super Bowl. That’s unreal when you think about the greatness of those careers, and in some cases, how long those careers lasted. The number of touchdowns and yards and tackles and sacks and forced fumbles from that group is mind-numbing. But how many of those stats do you think they’d trade just to have gotten one ring? Hell, one crack at one ring? 

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Contrast that with someone like Duron Harmon. He’s about to finish his 5th season with the Patriots. This is his third Super Bowl appearance. His other two years in New England resulted in trips to the AFC Championship game.

“It’s great living,” smiled the affable Harmon. “You see guys who play in this league for 10 plus years who never sniff the playoffs, let alone get to the Super Bowl so I know I’m definitely in a great spot.”

Like everyone on the roster during this stretch, Harmon has benefited from the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady combo platter. One’s the greatest coach of all-time. The other is the greatest quarterback of all-time. And if you won’t give them that (what’s wrong with you?), you’ll at least admit they’re very much in the conversation. 

But here’s where things get a little twisted. While those two outshine even a Super Moon, they’re not the only reason why the Pats are here seemingly every single year. And though Harmon doesn’t want to outright say that, his tone is pretty clear.

“I’m blessed, but at the end of the day we work for this,” he said. “Nobody can take this from us. We earned it.  We put the work in day in and day out, year in and year out. We all do a great job of deciphering from year to year to never let the previous year determine how we play the next year. That has allowed us to continue to always have a goal a mind and never backtrack or think about the past.”

Why is that important? Harmon emphasizes, “because the past really does nothing for you when you’re playing a football game.”

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Spoken like a player who knows what’s what, and one who’s just about ready for kickoff.

“It’s the Super Bowl,” he said. “If you can’t be focused for the Super Bowl, you shouldn’t be playing this game…Everybody is definitely ready. You can tell it.”

There’s plenty of players on the Patriots who know what that feels like. Harmon’s one of the lucky ones. It’s all that he knows. 


Tom Brady hints at playing until 45 in Instagram comment

Tom Brady hints at playing until 45 in Instagram comment

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's potential retirement has been the main storyline of the team's offseason workouts. After telling Oprah Winfrey in an interview that he is thinkning about retirement more than he used to, the five-time Super Bowl champion wrote a cryptic response to an ESPN Instagram post

The photo contained the full retirement quote from the Oprah interview, while Brady's account sent a response saying, "Cuarenta y cinco," which means 45 in Spanish. Brady turns 41 on August 3rd, which would give him at least four more years under center for New England if he wants to play to 45 years old.

There is also the chance that the response alludes to a potential contract extension, in which Brady may ask for $45 million. Brady reportedly wanted a new contract back in April, as he is signed through 2019 making a $14 million base salary that ranks fifth among NFL quarterbacks. 


Rob Gronkowski reportedly shopped to teams the Patriots trust

Rob Gronkowski reportedly shopped to teams the Patriots trust

According to MMQB's Albert Breer on Monday, the New England Patriots reportedly talked to four "trusted" teams about a potential trade for the two-time Super Bowl champion pass catcher. 

The reported teams were the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. The Lions are led by former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their head coach. New England's former director of pro scouting, Bob Quinn, is Detroit's general manager.  Mike Vrabel, the head coach of the Titans, won three Super Bowls in New England as a linebacker and former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is the head coach in Houston. San Francisco was New England's trade partner in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade last season. 

Gronkowski did not commit to returning to the Patriots until a few days before the draft, and also missed most of the team's voluntary offseason workouts. The Patriots and the tight end are reportedly working on a contract extension