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Patriots

Matthew Slater Talks Bye Week, Bullying With Gresh & Zo

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Matthew Slater #18 of the New England Patriots stretches before a game on December 11, 2011. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Matthew Slater #18 of the New England Patriots stretches before a game on December 11, 2011. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak spoke with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater Wednesday at noon.

After throttling the Pittsburgh Steelers 55-31 on Sunday, the Patriots are in a bye week and have a chance for some injured players to recuperate.

Gresh & Zo: Patriots Injuries Have Reached Critical Mass

Even though they won’t be playing in a game this weekend, Matthew Slater stressed the importance of the bye week in terms of evaluating yourself individually and as a team. But not only that, the bye week affords your team an opportunity to get healthy.

For Slater, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s been a tough year for us injury-wise. We’ve been through a lot. It feels like every week another key guy is coming up with something. We really need this time to rest, and need this time to refocus our energies on making a run here down the stretch,” said Slater.

On self-scouting, Slater said you have to go back and look at the game tape in order reinforce what you’ve been doing well, but also try and figure out which areas need improvement.

“It’s easy to sit around and say ‘We’re 7-2, we must be doing a lot right’ – but we know better than that. It’s not good enough. To the man, we need to improve. And as a team we need to improve, so that self-evaluation is key.”

Bert Breer was a guest on Wednesday’s show and one question he had for Slater was in regards to the Patriots identity. Given the young roster and laundry list of injuries the Patriots have had to endure, Slater feels the team is mentally tough and that their identity will be forged in the coming weeks.

Another hot topic of discussion for Slater was bringing up the latest controversy surrounding the NFL. That is, the bullying situation in the Miami Dolphins locker room.

READ: Gresh & Zo Talk New Developments In Dolphins Hazing Case With Bert Breer

Slater can’t speak for the Dolphins, but insisted that in Foxborough guys have respect for each other and don’t push the envelope.

“We have a genuine sense of respect for one another. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the league for twenty years or if you’ve been in the league three weeks, we’re going to respect the men that come in this locker room. We’re all here for one reason, and that’s to win football games.”

On his bye week plans, Slater said he’s looking forward to catching up on some rest, watching movies and unplugging for a little while.

Listen to the full interview below:

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