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Patriots are trying to ‘figure out our identity’ for 2023, says linebacker Josh Uche

Coming off a disappointing season, New England is looking toward the future.

Indianapolis Colts (3) Vs. New England Patriots (26) At Gillette Stadium Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The New England Patriots are set to open their offseason workout program next Monday, and to start building the foundation for 2023. Coming off a disappointing 8-9 campaign without a playoff berth, the hope is that it will be a bounce-back season.

There is no telling how that process will go. However, linebacker Josh Uche knows that the team has control over its own destiny to eventually harvest the fruits of its offseason labor.

“It’s very early on,” Uche said in an appearance on the Patriots Talk podcast. “I’m very excited for football to be back. You want to make those predictions, you want to predict the future, but the truth is it’s just each day you’re present and each day the future will handle itself. You’re working today for tomorrow, if that makes sense.

“And the harder we work each day, the better our chances, the better our odds are, in the future to be where we want to be.”

Uche is entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contract with the Patriots. Coming off a career year that saw him register 11.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles, he projects to be an integral part of a defense that was among the league’s best in 2022.

However, the former second-round draft pick is well aware that past accomplishments mean little in the NFL.

“The tenor right now is just improving every day. And then building that sweat equity, working together, and just figuring out who we are and what our identity is this year,” he said. “Each year is different, there’s a new slate. Nobody cares what you did last year, it’s all about this new year. [We are] figuring out our identity for that, and working hard every day, building towards that.”

The Patriots will increase their offseason intensity on Monday with the start of the offseason program. Despite it being strictly voluntary, Uche said that he would expect a strong level of participation.