ATLANTA – Go ahead and hate them if you must. But not every New England Patriot has overdosed on winning and hogging Super Bowls.
They aren’t all Tom Brady. In fact, we’ll give you two Patriots who basically couldn’t believe they were participating in Super Bowl LIII’s Opening Night on Monday at State Farm Arena.
“Yeah,” cornerback Jason McCourty said, “we’ve come a long way from 0-16.”
Last year, McCourty and defensive tackle Danny Shelton went winless with the Browns. They also were part of the league’s second-worst scoring defense.
This year, McCourty, the twin brother of safety Devin, played 80 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps. A 10-year veteran, he had never appeared in a playoff game before this season.
Bill Belichick traded a third-rounder to Cleveland for McCourty. Five days later, he sent a seventh-rounder for Shelton.
And, just like that, historic losers became part of the hated winners club.