Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Thursday to talk Patriots – and also respond to some recent criticism he’s gotten from ex-players and others.
Winovich was recently a target of former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who said on NBC Sports Boston: “Just be quiet and just get back to work and go out and do what you need to do. I don’t need to hear your ‘aku buku’ stuff and all that stuff. You’re a football player. Look, if this team is struggling that much and you’re not on the football field, that says something about you, because they want to win, they want to put the best guys out there.
“So he’s obviously not doing something right, whether it’s fundamentals, whether it’s technique. So instead of complaining about it, which is basically what he’s doing in his own cute little way, just be quiet, keep your mouth shut, and go out there and do a better job and figure it out on the field.”
Winovich denied that he’d heard similar criticism privately in Foxboro, but acknowledged that he can always be better both on and off the field and that’s what he’s focused on doing.
“I’d say it’s more so just one of those things that I recognize that I’m not always perfect in how I handle things, and I really don’t think anybody is,” Winovich said. “But I’m trying my best to be the best teammate I can be and take accountability, especially when necessary. Like I said, no one’s perfect. I’m definitely not and I’m going to do everything I can. I don’t want to let the team down in any way. I’m going to lean, work harder, and trust me, I’m not making any excuses out here.
“People can chastise me or say whatever they want. But at the end of the day, it’s like, I live it every day. People don’t really know what’s going on or any specific details of any situation that aren’t inside this building. But I’m just going to keep working and having fun and enjoying the process like I always do. Like I said, I’m surrounded by a great group of teammates and coaches, and the support has just been incredible, and I’m just thankful to be here. So I’m going to focus on the positive.”
Winovich played 31 snaps on Monday against the Jets after playing just five in the previous week. His candid comments about not playing and confusion with the Patriots’ game-planning have rubbed Cassel and other ex-players and media members the wrong way in recent weeks. Now he sounds like he’s been fed some of the proverbial “humble pie.”
“You know, obviously, I don’t always say the right things or do the right things, but I’m definitely learning,” Winovich said. “Thankfully, I’ve got a great group of coaches and teammates and former players to really help guide me along that process. I’m just thankful for any and all opportunities I get to help this team win.”
Listen above for the full interview.
Listen to Zolak and Bertrand weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub.