Robert Kraft doesn’t wear rings, but he does carry the one from the New England Patriots’ victory against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in his pocket.
Kraft plans to do so until the 2017 season begins. After that, he’ll see whether his team can live up to the tremendous hype that it is poised to win a fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy.
‘On paper, this is a pretty exciting team, but we all know until things happen …’
Despite what is widely regarded as a highly successful offseason of adding talent, the Patriots’ owner isn’t taking anything for granted.
“On paper, this is a pretty exciting team, but we all know until things really happen …,” Kraft told Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller during the SiriusXM NFL Radio camp tour stop in Foxborough, Mass. “I’m blessed. This is our 24th season of ownership, but there used to be two-a-days (in camp), physical practices, and you had a better sense of the quality of the product and the caliber of product. And now, I think coaching becomes even more important, and you really don’t know until you’ve played probably a month into the season how guys are going to be.
Decrease in practice time ‘makes it a little more challenging for everyone to know how things are really going to turn out’
“Those are all things we did in the last labor agreement with good reason, but I think it makes it a little more challenging for everyone to know how things are really going to turn out. On paper, things look great, but I’ve learned you really never know.”
For now, he is savoring the Patriots’ remarkable comeback from a 28-3 deficit to beat the Falcons, 34-28, in overtime.
‘What a great lesson for young people and millennials not to give up’
“I’m still living it and enjoying it,” Kraft said. “I’ve got a lot of people coming up to me now, (saying,) ‘We never gave up, we always believed,’ but … what a great lesson for young people and millennials not to give up, have hope, surround yourself with good people, and dream big and anything can happen.”
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