After being named the 2019 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Saturday, Stephon Gilmore took some time to reach out to Patriot nation.
The New England Patriots cornerback shared a message thanking his fans, as well as those in the organization who have helped him along the way.
“Hey, Pats Nation. Thank you for your support," Gilmore said. "Thank you for voting for me for Defensive Player of the Year. It’s a great honor to be the first Patriot defensive player to win the award. I couldn’t have done it without the fans, my teammates, coaches, a lot of people behind the scenes. Go Pats.”
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It indeed is a great honor for the three-time Pro Bowler, and a well-deserved one. Gilmore tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with six and also topped the league in pass breakups (20).
Shortly after Gilmore won the prestigious award, Tom Brady took to Instagram to congratulate his teammate. Even Houston Texans star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins showed Gilmore tremendous respect for the achievement.
Over the course of the New England Patriots' dynasty, NFL fans learned a valuable lesson: never count the Patriots out.
But with Tom Brady leaving after 20 years to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that has quickly changed. Suddenly, the Pats are perceived as underdogs.
It isn't difficult to see why. The quarterback position now is a real area of concern, and several key contributors from 2019 have departed in free agency.
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Pats wide receiver N'Keal Harry, however, doesn't seem worried. The 2019 first-round pick took to Twitter on Saturday with a message for the doubters.
The 22-year-old certainly isn't lacking in confidence.
If the Patriots are to exceed expectations without Brady, Harry will be counted on to be a focal point in the offense. New England's wide receiver depth chart currently consists of Harry, Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, and Jakobi Meyers. There's also a strong chance the position is addressed again via the draft, which takes place next month.
The real question is who will be throwing the ball to Harry when the 2020 NFL season kicks off. Right now, 2019 fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham is the odds-on favorite to be Brady's successor.
Harry tallied 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns in seven games during his rookie campaign.
We all thought Tom Brady would be a New England Patriot for life, but now that he's a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, it's going to take some getting used to.
Few could have predicted Brady's stunning falling out with Bill Belichick and the Patriots years ago and it seems especially weird - even poignant - after you watch this 2016 Brady interview with WCVB's Mike Lynch, unearthed by WEEI's Mark Dondero.
Lynch asks Brady a few questions and the replies are pretty shocking in light of what's happened. Asked if he could ever see himself in a uniform other than the Patriots, Brady answers, "I hope not... I never want to go anywhere else."
With Brady saying that four years ago, it shows just how much has happened in the past four years to bring the professional relationship among the quarterback, the coach and owner Robert Kraft to an end.
"I hope they never want me to go anywhere else, either," Brady says, "but that's the business and I've got to keep doing my job and playing well and hopefully RKK [Kraft] and Bill will find a place for me."