The New England Patriots have fully adopted the throwback theme for this week’s game against the Detroit Lions, and for good reason. For the first time in a decade, the team will wear its red-and-white Pat Patriot ensemble.
For as much hype as the return of one of the NFL’s classic looks has generated, the Patriots themselves have not given it much thought. While they do recognize the throwback flair, their focus lies elsewhere — something pointed out by some of the team’s captains during Wednesday’s media availability.
Take center David Andrews, who has not been around for the last Pat Patriot game in 2012, who opened with a story about his throwback experience before putting things into perspective.
“The first thing I remember of throwback uniforms is Nike — they’ve grown a lot but when I was young Nike put on these camps and Pete Brock actually was working on the O-line section,” he said. “I was a sophomore in high school, had no idea who Pete Brock was, in all honesty. I’ll always remember he had the old school logo on his calf tattooed. World’s working in some funny ways. Here I am now, getting to wear them.
“Super cool, but really the only thing that matters is we’re playing the Lions this week. Look good and all, whatever, it really doesn’t matter. Big challenge this week.”
Andrews’ general approach of “It’s cool, but...” was also shared by Devin McCourty. While the veteran safety has experienced throwback football before — he has played in four such games between 2010 and 2012 — his focus also lies on the task at hand rather than the attire that will be worn during the game.
“I tend to agree with Dave on that one. I think the hype about that is for the fans. We’re going to put red jerseys in the pro shop, go buy a new red jersey. It will make some money for us,” McCourty said.
“It’s about going out there and playing good football, going out there and trying to get a win. 1-3, I want that winning feeling on Sunday we haven’t had but one time this year. That’s been the focus and I think that’s a good thing. Guys aren’t in the locker room talking about the excitement of red jerseys and a white helmet. Guys are locked in.”
The Patriots having their priorities in order is not a surprise. That does not mean there cannot be at least some excitement about them wearing the franchise’s classic look.
“Really cool. It’s my first throwback game, so I’m excited,” said defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr.
“It’s great,” added safety Kyle Dugger. “Whenever I watch film of the Patriots, I always say, ‘These red uniforms, those hit a little different.’ Being able to wear them now is exciting to me.”
Being excited about the uniforms and making sure to be properly prepared for the Lions are obviously not mutually exclusive. At the end of the day, though, McCourty properly summed up the team’s thought process this week (with a focus on his side of the ball).
“We have to be ready to go defensively,” he said, “and not worry about the things that won’t help us win.”