In good times and bad, it is the Patriots mantra. It hangs on the walls in the belly of Gillette Stadium and from the lips of Patriots players on a near weekly basis: "Ignore the noise."
Even as one of their own had his home searched as part of an investigation into a murder that took place less than a mile from his house, the Patriots will continue to heed their own advice.
"We always talk about ignoring the noise, and we’re doing the same now," Jerod Mayo told ESPNBoston.com regarding the police presence in and around Aaron Hernandez's North Attleboro home as they investigate the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. "Whether it’s good or bad, we always talk about ignoring the noise."
Patriots training camp is scheduled to begin in exactly one month, on July 25. Whether or not Hernandez is present, "the noise" is coming. Media en masse will descend upon Foxboro with questions for Hernandez's teammates and coaches.
They'll come up with something to say, but it won't be much. The answers will be prepackaged, intentionally vague, and probably, at times, dismissive.
That's ignoring the noise. No team does it better than the Patriots, and in a month their steadfastness will be put to the test like never before.