BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are set at the safety position for the 2017 season. Patrick Chung and safeties coach Steve Belichick didn’t hesitate to let everyone know – and coined the group’s new nickname in the process.
Call them the “Safety Squadron.”
That’s the name emblazoned on Chung’s new t-shirt that he wore when he met with reporters at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Thursday. The shirt, apparently designed by Belichick, depicts drawings of Chung, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Nate Ebner, and Jordan Richards riding some sort of fighter plane.
Chung has reason to be excited about the Patriots’ “Safety Squadron,” which is as deep as any positional group on the team. Combined with the cornerback duo of Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots have a chance to enter the 2017 season with arguably the best secondary in the National Football League.
Chung, in particular, has markedly improved since re-joining the Patriots after an inconsistent first stint. He implied that he’s taking advice from the coaching staff more than he was early in his career.
“Listening to Bill, practicing hard, and just having fun when it comes down to it,” said Chung when asked what’s led to his recent improvement. “You can’t really play to your full potential if you’re not having fun, and I have fun with these guys.”
The NFL may be a business at the end of the day, but Bill Belichick recently called football “more sport than business” in a recent interview. The Patriots may certainly take care of business better and more consistently than any other organization in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean Chung and the rest of the team aren’t enjoying themselves while doing it.
The “Safety Squadron” is as stacked as any group on the Patriots roster as they prepare for a run at ring No. 6.