Patriots

Patriots

No team uses bulletin board material and other forms of motivation to its advantage better than the New England Patriots.

Even in the many instances over the last 20 years where the Patriots were one of the top two or three teams in the NFL, players often had a "nobody believes in us" attitude that fueled them each Sunday.

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The Patriots won't have to look far for motivation entering the 2020 season.

Plenty of media members, fans and former players have cast doubt on the franchise's ability to remain a contender without longtime quarterback Tom Brady, who, of course, took his talents to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent back in March. 

One of Brady's former teammates, Matt Light, recently said on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" show that the Patriots will use their quarterback's departure as motivation in 2020.

"Most guys in the NFL want to tell you we don't need motivation," Light said. "We're here. We work hard. We're doing everything we have to do. We don't need the outside influences. But I'm going to tell you, it weighs in, and it weighs on each one of those players because the coaching staff is going to be a little bit tighter. There's a lot of question marks. A lot of things they got to figure out. Bill Belichick, his system -- do your job, work hard, be attentive, put the team first -- all those things he instills in those players week in and week out, well this is the real test. So all of those guys are going to feel the weight of it.

 

"Are they going to have motivation to go out there and prove they can win without Tom Brady? Yeah, they'll use this."

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Adjusting to Brady's departure and whoever replaces him as the starting quarterback aren't the only challenges for the Patriots in 2020. They also have one of the toughest regular season schedules in the league. The offseason is where teams build chemistry and incorporate new additions, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made that task even tougher. 

Luckily for the Patriots, they still have plenty of leadership throughout their roster. And, of course, there's no better coach in football than Bill Belichick. Nobody prepares his team to handle adversity on and off the field better than him.