FOXBORO - Robert Gallery said Thursday morning that it was a "goal" to play for the Patriots.
A "goal"? Why's that?
Well, it seems that after eight seasons of steady NFL disappointment, he needs something to look forward
"I knew a lot about this place when I was in college at Iowa withCoach Kirk Ferentz and his relationship with Bill Belichick," explained Gallery, the second overall pick in the 2004 draft. "It's a place that's run right andthe tradition's right and they're all about winning. Going through eight yearsof never having a winning season, that's something you really covet when youget to this point, so that's why I'm here."
Gallery spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Raiders. He spent last year with the Seahawks. He's never been part of a team that finished over .500. And when you are a 6-foot-7, 325-pound lineman who entered the league with "potential Hall of Famer" attached to your profile, the losing and the disappointment become a drag and you become a symbol of a team's malaise.
The 31-year-old Gallery, who signed as a free agent March 19, didn't take long to make up his mind on the one-year, 1 million deal he was offered.
"This was an easy decision," said Gallery, a player that the Patriots' organization thought very highly of since he was in college. "We heard from these guys first and it was a fastdecision for me because this has been a goal for a while and obviously whenthey reached out it was a done deal after we talked about it.
'It was a good fit for both of us, I was excitedwhen I got the call. It's a place I've known about since college and that I'vealways wanted to be a part of and it worked out.
"Winning is one of the big reasons that I came here because we've never had a winningseason in my eight years and obviously that's why you play this game and that'sa very big part of my deciding to come here."
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FOXBORO -- Antonio Brown's live stream of coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech on Sunday had a ripple effect that traveled all the way to New England: Just in case Patriots players weren't familiar with the league's social-media policy, they were reminded of it this week.
"We were reminded of that," receiver Chris Hogan said. "I’m not sure what the timing is, but obviously, I don’t think we’ll see guys doing that in the locker room."
Players are prohibited from using social media in the locker room until media outlets have been given an opportunity to talk to players following games. Brown's Facebook Live video, which garnered national attention almost as soon as it went online, was shot well before the visitor's locker room at Arrowhead Stadium opened following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City.
"We have a team policy on that," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "Strictly enforced. We go from there."
Of course part of the reason the video became as widely disseminated as it did was because it caught Tomlin calling the Patriots "a--holes."
"I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin," Slater said when asked about Tomlin's speech. "I appreciate the way he prepares his team. I’ve had a good working relationship with him over the years, and it will continue to be that way."
Both Slater and Hogan insisted that their focus will be trained solely on preparing for what Tomlin and his players will do when they arrive to Gillette Stadium Sunday night -- not what they say leading up to kickoff.
"You come in here, you're automatically bought into what we preach here, what coach [Bill] Belichick preaches," Hogan said. "It's football. We're 100 percent football here. It's not about anything outside. Between the media or whatever it is outside of football, whatever we're doing. When we come here, it's 100 percent football. That's all we're focused on is the opponent we're playing that week."