The New England Patriots are in an uncharted territory next season. However, the Patriots are still confident in their chances to make the playoffs.
Tom Brady is the greatest player in the Patriots’ illustrious history, so it is expected that the team will struggle next season. Patriots veteran Matthew Slater does not believe that in that notion. He thinks that New England will find a way to be successful this season even if Brady left a gaping hole in their lineup.
Slater said, ‘I think the one thing is you don’t want to downplay obviously guys like Tom and Steve and what they meant for us. You have to find a way to deal with that personally and process it’.
The Patriots have lost their biggest identifiable player which has led to speculation that the team may be directionless. New England has long been hailed as a team that is carried by Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick’s system. In the coming season, they are looking to defeat that stereotype.
Slater is confident that his teammates will recover from Brady’s departure. Slater said, ‘I think as a team, obviously, we’re going to have to process that Tom’s gone. Do it in a healthy way and be able to move on. We’re going to have to find a new identity for ourselves. I think part of that identity will be built upon things we always stood for and will continue to stand for as long as this organization is led by the people that it’s led by’.
It is evident why Slater has been the team captain for so many years because he truly is a great leader. People may not believe in the Patriots anymore but the foundation is still there. Of course, Brady leaving was a massive blow to their title chances. But they still have arguably the best coach of all time and an owner in Robert Kraft who is willing to spend money for the team.
Slater has shown his belief in the Patriots’ system and is confident that the team will bounce back. He said, ‘Over the last 20 years a big part of our identity has been centred around Tom and what he’s done for us, but again, players come and go. At some point in time, you have to have pillars you stand upon that are not going to fall regardless of who’s in or out. I think we have good pillars in place’.
It will be up to Slater to lead his young teammates through the fires of the NFL season. It’s a good thing that the Patriots have people like Slater and Belichick to help the team in this tough transition. They have instilled a healthy mindset that can motivate the team greatly.
Slater has given his thoughts on the incoming season and their mindset going into it. He said, ‘I think if you go into the season with a defeatist mindset, then you can’t expect to be successful. We’re not the victims here. We have a great opportunity. We have a lot of good football players. We have a tremendous coaching staff’.