Matthew Slater has won multiple awards for his community service and is generally known as one of the friendlier guys in football. So you wouldn’t think he’d be much of a trash-talker on the field – and he confirmed as much with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday.
The Patriots’ special teams ace told his best trash-talk stories – and while he’s certainly gotten into it with opposing players just like any pro football player would, it was about as wholesome and polite as you’d expect.
“I like to have some dialogue out there from time to time with the opponent, but it’s all in good fun. It’s all in respect,” Slater said. “If somebody perhaps draws a penalty or gets a penalty called on themselves, maybe I’ll tell them that that’s not within the rules and that’s not what we’re looking for. But I try, in general, just to have some good fun with it. I respect my opponents. I enjoy the competition out there and I don’t try to get too crazy with it.”
Apparently, Slater has done more jawing with longtime teammate Julian Edelman than his opponents. He told T&R a story of the times he’s gotten into it with No. 11 – and immediately regretted it.
“The funniest story I can think of is Julian and I getting into a verbal altercation years ago when we were young players,” said Slater. “I think within 15 seconds, I went over and apologized to him and felt really bad about it. I think I got into more altercations with Julian over the years than anyone on the opposing team. … We’ve had a lot of good fun together.”
Speaking of good fun, there appears to be a Bill Belichick-mandated ban on group touchdown celebrations, which have been everywhere in the NFL this season – except for New England. In fact, based on what Rob Gronkowski said after Sunday’s win over the Dolphins, they can’t even talk about it.
Slater said that no such ban exists, but there appears to be a tacit acknowledgment among the players to avoid the shenanigans.
“It actually hasn’t been discussed by players or coaches,” Slater said of celebrations. “I can’t tell you why. It’s just something that hasn’t come up. Our focus is so much on preparation throughout the week and trying to go out and perform well on Sundays. We haven’t put too much time or energy or thought into touchdown celebrations. That’s the honest truth.”
Listen above for the full interview!