Patriots' Love has no time to smell the roses

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Patriots' Love has no time to smell the roses

FOXBORO - The Patriots' standard set of captains doesn't figure to change much this season: Brady, Wilfork, Mayo, Slater, Mankins and McCourty.

But this preseason, when the Patriots rested a fleet of front-line players against the Eagles, they sent out a different set of players for the pregame coin toss. One of them was Kyle Love.

Pregame coin flip in the preseason with the varsity in shorts and t-shirts? Woot. Woot. Put that on the Hall of Fame bust.

Context, though. Context.

Love, undrafted in 2010, has arguably had the most impressive rise among the fleet of undrafted players that make up a large portion of the Patriots' roster.

He wedged himself into use in 2010, playing in nine games. In 2011, he started 13 and - along with Vince Wilfork - was the most potent inside force the team had.

The son of a retired Army colonel, Love's attention to detail and steady improvement have led to success and a new contract.

But he's paying no attention to the trappings of what he's done.

"I don't really try to get into it too much," Love answered when asked if he's reflected at all on his success. "I just do my job."

In a profession where the employees are constantly reminded, "You're either getting better or you're getting worse..." reflection is anathema to success.

"It doesn't stop," said Love. "It doesn't stop at all. Can't never get complacent, can't never get to the point where you feel relaxed. That's in any field, any job. There's always somebody behind you working hard who wants to do what you can."

NFL careers can be fleeting. By the time a player is conscious he hasn't stopped to smell the roses, the roses may be dead or dying.

Not much they can do about it. Simply a fact. For Love, though, the roses are just reaching bloom.

(See what I did there? It all just tied up real nice...)

Goodell statement calls Trump's comments 'divisive'

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Goodell statement calls Trump's comments 'divisive'

In separate statements Saturday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith each criticized President Donald Trump's verbal attack on NFL players. 

Goodell's statement: 

The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month.  Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.

 

And Smith's statement: 

Whether or not Roger or the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to player safety remains to be seen. This union, however, will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks. 

 

NFLPA president Eric Winston, a tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, also tweeted a statement critical of the President:

At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged NFL fans to walk out of games in protest. 

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told the rally. 

He also lamented that football has become less violent.

“They’re ruining the game,” he complained.

President Trump responded again on Twitter Saturday afternoon, saying players who don't stand for the anthem should, "Find something else to do!"