By Danny Cox
On Sunday, the New England Patriots will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game, and the winner will move on to the Super Bowl. For many NFL players, it will be the first time they have ever participated in a game this late in the season, but the Pats are more than familiar with being on the field in late January. In fact, the Patriots have 19 players who know exactly what it’s like to get to the AFC Championship.
Pats Experienced in the Post Season
This year marks the seventh in a row that the franchise has reached the AFC Championships. As a matter of fact, the Patriots have 19 veteran players on their roster of 53 who have signed as rookie free agents or have been drafted that have never played a season without getting this far.
When you start out your career by going to the AFC title game every single season, it would have to be a huge disappointment to not even make it to the Divisional Round. The following 19 players have at least one more season without breaking any of their own personal streaks.
- CB Malcolm Butler
- P Ryan Allen
- LS Joe Cardona
- CB Jonathan Jones
- OT Cameron Fleming
- C David Andrews
- OL Ted Karras
- S Jordan Richards
- S Brandon King
- RB James White
- DT Malcolm Brown
- DE Trey Flowers
- G Shaq Mason
- DE Geneo Grissom
- T Nate Solder
- G Joe Thuney
- RB Brandon Bolden
- S Duron Harmon
- LB Elandon Roberts
Tom Brady begins preparations on team’s day off
Tuesday was meant to be a day off for the Patriots, and many of those on the roster decided to use it as such before preparation truly begins. Tom Brady was not one of those players. The 40-year-old joined a number of teammates at the practice facility to begin getting ready for the Jaguars a bit earlier than scheduled.
Brady met with head coach Bill Belichick to begin discussing their game plan for taking on the defense of the Jaguars, but he was ready to talk about other things as well.
Jags second-year cornerback Jalen Ramsey recently stated that he believed his team was in prime position to win the Super Bowl, but that confidence isn’t affecting Brady’s outlook.
“What I’ve learned over a long time is it’s how you play and it’s not what you say,” Brady said on sports radio WEEI. “Everyone has different ways of handling things. Coaches do. Players do. We do what works for us. The game is going to be decided by who plays the best, not who hypes the best or speaks the best.
“He’s a really good player. I’ve watched a ton of film on him. He has a lot of strengths. He’s obviously very confident, and that’s reflected in how he plays. So I’m more concerned with how he plays as opposed to what he says.”
Brady knows the Jaguars are a very strong team that has a lot of good players on both sides of the ball and a lot of ambition, but he’s going to make sure his Patriots are ready for them.