The New England Patriots are in a rather unfamiliar situation. For the first time since 2002, they have lost four games in a row and at 2-5 will be fighting for their playoff life throughout the remainder of the season. The team itself may lack experience when it comes to losing, but not every player on the roster has the same history. Take cornerback Jason McCourty, who spoke about New England’s predicament on Monday.
McCourty, who is in his third season with the club, has a rather pragmatic view on the situation — reflecting on his own career as a frame of reference.
“I went through an 0-16 season, a 2-14 season and a 3-13 season, so I’ve been through worse,” the team captain said during a media conference call. “I think for us, you’re not going to get change by walking around and being negative, or walk around with your head down, or declaring the season to be over. The only way you’re going to create change or try to make a difference or get yourself out of the situation you’re in is to continue to work.”
The veteran defender certainly has experienced his fair share of losing before arriving in New England in 2018 and promptly winning a Super Bowl. He did not appear in a playoff game through the first nine years of his career and was part of just two winning teams along the way. Furthermore, he played with the 0-16 Cleveland Browns as he mentioned as well as three other last-place squads.
Accordingly, McCourty has a pretty clear plan in mind what the Patriots will need to do now to turn the ship around again.
“I think that if you’re negatively working, those are going to be the results you’re going to get,” he said. “Just remind guys that we’re in the thick of it. We got to continue to grind, we got to come here, we got to continue to be together, we got to continue to work. You remain positive because I think you always have to remember where you are and what your circumstances are.
“For me, as I get older, you don’t know how many more opportunities there are. I think just getting guys to understand, ‘Hey, we have whatever is left of our 16 chances to go out there and compete; let’s go out there and continue to try to make the most of them and try to get this thing turned around.’”
The Patriots’ next chance to do that comes on Monday night, when they will travel to New York to take on the winless Jets.