By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Rookie edge rusher Chase Winovich is off to an impressive start to his NFL career — at least in the preseason.
After recording 1.5 sacks in his preseason debut last week, Winovich recorded a sack, two QB hits, two tackles for a loss and six tackles overall in the Patriots’ 22-17 win over the Titans on Saturday night.
While Winovich was no doubt happy to have impressed some of his teammates and coaches, he said after the game that there really was only one person he was trying to impress.
“Honestly today was a day like any other. Ever since high school, my grandma has been promising me if I played hard and I didn’t get hurt, she’s been promising me five dollars and a chocolate bar — either Hershey’s or Sarris Candies,” Winovich said. “So today was just another day where I went out there and I said you know what, I gotta play hard. I need that five dollars and I need that candy.”
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 18, 2019
While Winovich likely did enough to secure that five-spot and the Hershey’s bar, he also likely helped himself out in terms of forcing the coaching staff’s hand when it comes to giving him reps on defense. Part of what stood out the most on Saturday night was Winovich’s unrelenting motor, as he chased down several plays from behind and didn’t take off a single snap while playing most of the game on Saturday.
“It’s weird. I really don’t know why I’m built like that,” Winovich said when asked of his tendency to sprint all over the field on every play. “It might be a gift and a curse when it’s extremely hot and they’re just trying to run the ball away. I see the guy and in my head there’s a little part of me that’s like, ‘You know what? You’re probably not going to make this play, maybe this one you should save it for the next one when it comes to you.’ But you’ll see me just sprinting and trying to hit somebody or hit something.”
Even after the lighthearted grandma talk, Winovich reverted back into Patriots mode when discussing his overall mind-set as a rookie in the preseason.
“I joke, but at the end of the day I know I’ve got a lot of support and a lot of people that believe in me. I feel like I’m representative of the whole Pittsburgh area in a sense, and there’s a lot of pride that comes with it,” said Winovich, a native of Jefferson Hills, Pa. “But like I said last week, it all goes back to my teammates and the hard work that we put in.”