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Patriots Players Appreciate Owner Robert Kraft and His Personal Touch

We're 22 years removed from Robert Kraft acquiring the New England Patriots and it's been a spectacular run, compiling 17 playoff berths, 15 division titles, 11 conference championships, 7 Super Bowl appearances (aiming for 8), 4 Super Bowl titles (aiming for 5), and the greatest quarterback and coach tandem of all time.

The Patriots players shared their thoughts on what makes Kraft such a unique owner.

Tom Brady

"[Kraft's leadership has] obviously a huge impact on our team and our organization," Quarterback Tom Brady said. "His expectations for us and how he sets the tone for us, he sits in almost every squad meeting that we have [and] I think he's always got a pulse for how the team is doing, how the coaches feel about the particular week, how the players are feeling.

"He's always involved, so I would say he's very hands on. He used to come out to practice a lot more, but not as much lately. So, yeah, he really sets the tone for us."

Patrick Chung

"Every morning we see him in the squad meetings just sitting right there in the back just paying attention and that's good to see as a player," Safety Patrick Chung said. "Most owners aren't really doing that. He's in there just paying attention. He's always walking through the locker room, [I've] seen him working out and stuff. It's good to know that he's working just as hard as we are.

"We're on the field, he's off the field and it's good to know, good to know that your owner has your back and he's going to be there to make sure that he knows what's going on, also. We like Mr. Kraft. We call him Mean Mug. Mean Mug, that's our little thing that we've got so it's good. It's very good to see."

Stephen Gostkowski

"Mr. Kraft has been around a lot ever since I've been here and it can be intimidating being around a guy who's got so much," Kicker Stephen Gostkowski said. "But he comes off as a normal guy. He'll come up to you, he called my wife when she had a surgery, sent me a baby gift when I had a baby. He's just a great guy. They preach family around here and it starts with him.

"As crazy as it is in this business with people getting cut and traded, and year-in and year-out people going different places, they do a really good job of making us feel welcome while we're here because we're here a lot of the time and I think most of that credit should go to Mr. Kraft. I remember having a bad game and Mr. Kraft came up [and] consoled me. He wasn't coming around and [trying] to be a 'hardo' and telling me I need to do better. He's a human being and he's also the owner of this team and when there's a guy up there that you see around and is as invested as he is - not just monetarily, but emotionally - it's a lot easier to go out there and play for a guy like that.

"We love Mr. Kraft, he's always welcome around us in the locker room - I mean he owns the place, he can go wherever he wants. You know, he's very welcome in the inner circles of the locker room, camaraderie and it's cool to be a part of."

Alan Branch

"I'll just say this, unlike any team I've ever been on, I've seen Mr. Kraft more in a half-year last year than I've seen any other owner for the rest of my eight years before meeting him," Defensive tackle Alan Branch said. "Not even that, he walks up and he knows everybody personally. Just working for a man like that is pretty nice.

"It's just cool. It's a great atmosphere. It makes it an atmosphere where you're not nervous or worried when he comes around. Some teams when the owner comes around people get kind of jittery. I mean here it's an everyday occurrence so it's nothing new."

The Patriots are aiming to reach yet another Super Bowl and the team owes a lot of its continued run of success to their owner and his ability to manage players and coaches at the highest level.