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."