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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Donte’ Stallworth: Patriots are going to want to ’embarrass’ teams

Tom Brady

The 2014 Patriots were the best team in the NFL, but they have a slightly new look heading into this season. Both of New England’s starting cornerbacks from their Super Bowl championship squad, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, are gone. Vince Wilfork, the anchor of Bill Belichick’s interior defense for years, has also moved on. But thanks to Deflategate, the Patriots should still be plenty motivated.

Just ask Donte’ Stallworth.

Stallworth was part of a 2007 Patriots team that went 16-0 in the regular season. They routinely beat opponents by 20 or more points along the way, and Stallworth thinks Tom Brady and company will be aiming to do the same this season.

“Those guys, the players, are going to want to embarrass people,” the former NFL receiver told Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald. “Who knows what Bill is thinking, but the players will be ready to embarrass guys. I’ll tell you, this first game, it’s going to be amazing because they’re going to be so fired up. Bill is going to make sure they enjoy the banner being dropped, but he’s going to make sure they’re focused on winning that game. I guarantee those guys are going to be taking it out on them the first week of the season.”

New England’s defense will be tested immediately on Thursday night against a Pittsburgh Steelers offense that could be one of the best in the NFL. Stallworth is confident Belichick will use Deflategate — and the latest reports about Spygate — to motivate his team.

“I know the Spygate year, (Belichick) talked to us just once how they were saying we weren’t good enough to win games, and everything in the past was due to us cheating,” Stallworth recalled. “Players like (Tedy) Bruschi and (Mike) Vrabel and Brady who were there for the Super Bowl years, they took exception to that.”

Many current and former players (a good recent example here) have said Spygate and Deflategate don’t matter because you still have to execute plays. The same theory applies to being motivated to destroy every opponent you face.

The Patriots can be furious at Roger Goodell and everyone else, but they still have to make plays. No amount of motivation will win you games in the NFL without execution.

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