NFL players respect the Patriot Way, and Bill Belichick’s players respect locker room speeches. That’s exactly what happened ahead of the AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos in January 2016. Patriots players were facing a huge challenge and Belichick needed someone to fire up his players.
Three-time Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson was the right person to take this role. He was a proved veteran with excellent skillset. By that point, Jackson had made long stops with a couple of teams. Here’s a catch. He didn’t have much experience in Belichick’s locker room. Why did Belichick choose him?
Jackson discussed this and many other topics in his appearance on the “NFL Total Access: The Locker Room” podcast.
“I’m like, ‘It’s the biggest game of my life, what do you want me to say to guys that have won four or five championships at this time?,’” Jackson said. “And he’s like, ‘Just tell your story.’“
New Patriot delivers strong locker room speech
This leads us all the way to Jackson’s postseason experience. The running back had great experience and he was the perfect person to hype up Patriots players.
“I’m like, ‘Guys, there was a point in my career when I won six games in three seasons. I went 3-13, 2-14, 1-15 consecutively … winning six games, you guys do that before your bye weeks,’” Jackson said. ”‘And to have a cold call from Belichick in the middle of what I thought was my retirement, to get this opportunity, I could’ve been blind and I still would’ve come back and taken advantage of this. What you guys are touching, what you guys are doing is not normal.’
” … ‘I’ll tell you now, there are some highs and there are some lows, but ultimately it’s a team sport. And everything I’ve accomplished, I’d trade it for what you guys have been able to do here.’”
Patriots players don’t need someone to motivate them at this point. They have a rookie quarterback leading the way for the team. Mac Jones is highly motivated and he is pretty confident about his skillset. He was a big frustrated when his team lost games earlier this season, but these losses fueled his explosiveness.