New England Patriots

Quarterback Tom Brady may have spent the majority of the offseason away from Bill Belichick and the rest of the team, but do not count Chris Long among those subscribing to the notion that the New England Patriots are falling apart.

Talking with The Big Lead this past weekend, the back-to-back Super Bowl champion, who won with the Patriots in 2017 and then beat the Patriots in 2018, first acknowledged the fact that every team goes through its own tense moments.

“I just think any NFL team, any NFL locker room under a lot of stress over a year period, there are going to be storylines people can choose to kind of blow out of proportion or not pay attention to,” Long offered. “I think everyone’s going to pay attention to sometimes really small issues. Whatever people are alluding to going on up there hasn’t affected their play, it hasn’t affected their bottom line. It hasn’t affected how they executed on Sundays. That’s what they pride themselves in.

“When you’ve got the greatest quarterback of all time and possibly the greatest coach of all time, that’s why they’re in those big games.”

For Long, the proof of the Patriots still being the Patriots was found in last February’s Super Bowl.

“It took everything for us to beat them,” Long said of the Eagles’ relentless efforts against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII in a 41-33 final. “It took a heroic performance by Nick Foles and we had to play our best game. So while everybody likes to always point to the Patriots as being under duress or there’s some drama in the locker room, there’s drama in every locker room that you could blow out of proportion. They’re just on top and those stories sell because they’ve been so great.”

The Patriots have won at least 12 games in eight straight seasons, and have been to seven straight AFC Championship games, and will look to continue their dominance when training camp opens later this month.

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