New England Patriots

Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Josh Uche (55) looks down Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

During the 2022 season, linebacker Josh Uche was the Patriots’ breakout star on defense. A 2020 second-round pick who struggled with injuries and inconsistent play during his first two and a half years in the league, Uche was a force down the stretch of his third season recording 11.5 sacks and 14 QB hits over the final 10 games.

Given that success the expectations are high for Uche coming into 2023, which is also a contract year for the 24-year-old. On Thursday, Uche was asked about building on that performance and production when speaking with Patriots media.

  • “Last year is last year. Can’t cash in on much from last year. It’s a new season,” Uche said. “New plays need to be made, new steps need to be taken. So kind of just trying to forget last year and just build and become the best football player I could be.”

    Uche said he didn’t even spend much time reflecting on his 2022 performance, which included finishing 12th in the league in sacks. “I feel like if you just focus on it, if you get so big headed on what you did in the past, you’re going to trip up trying to get to where you want to go,” he explained. “So I try to leave that where it’s at and understand that this is a new slate, this is a new season and there’s new opportunities. And if I’m worried about the past and I can’t capitalize on the future.”

    That mentality from Uche is in line with what’s become a popular saying around Gillette Stadium – ‘be where your feet are.’ It’s about not getting too focused on the future or the past, and just working on what can be done in the present.

  • “It just comes back to controlling the controllables. All I can do is come in each day, work as hard as I can. Work on my body, my technique, my mental and the rest will just fall into place,” Uche said when asked about his preparation for a contract year. “I can only control my effort and getting better each day, you know, eventually the rest to handle the self.”

    Asked what in particular he’s working on with his game, Uche answered “everything” multiple times. One nugget he did share is that he’s been watching other pass rushers to try to add to his pass rush repertoire.

    “That’s what I love to do,” he shared. “Just constantly watching different guys kind I admire throughout the league.”

    Uche and the Patriots will take the field for the first time as a team next week for the start of OTAs. The first practice session is on Monday, with the first session open to the media coming on Thursday.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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