That's a shame, really. We should all eat a little humble pie from time to time. It's good for the digestive tract.
Rather, humility should be the sign of ultimate strength. Having humility shouldn't mean having a lack of hubris…but having the dignity, class and leadership qualities to deal with all forms of adversity around a football field. As examples, new arrival
And this: "I think the hardest thing is coming in as one of the older guys in the room and having to go and prove yourself to the guys that are here, because being on a new team, you have to earn their respect. So I'm just trying to go out every day and work and do that."
What about new arrival Smith, working his way back from an ACL injury last season and the victim of a significant salary dump in New Orleans? If any player had a "right" to be disgruntled over the fickle finger that fate has handed him, Smith might qualify. "I'm excited about being here. I just love going out and competing, love going out on Sunday," Smith told reporters at mini-camp last week. "My main goal is to go out and get in football shape, make sure I know the playbook, and compete. I think (the defensive line) can be awesome."
Even former Jet and New England nemesis
Well played, fellas. Your hubris isn't showing. Your teammates seem to like you, and so far, you're winning in the court of public opinion. If your football talents on the field can follow suit, perhaps the Patriots will have something here.
Oh yes, make no mistake. Football ability still comes first over personality. But the Patriots have also made no mistake about recruiting leaders onto their roster. They have looked for, and cultivated, veteran players who may have a chip on their shoulders, still with something to prove. They actively seek players who have served as captains somewhere along the line of their football careers, and true leaders often display the kind of humility that can separate winners from losers. Have you noticed how successful business CEO's most often deflect the attention that comes their way by spreading praise, and recognizing the abilities of others?
It's hard to fake humility. It's also hard to imitate honor, character, perseverance and patience. But the Patriots seem to know what they're looking for, and rarely stray from that formula. And if you haven't noticed, that humble pie has been pretty tasty around here for a while.
John Rooke is an author and award-winning broadcaster, and has been the Patriots’ stadium voice for 22 years. Currently serving in several media capacities – which include hosting “Patriots Playbook” during the season on Patriots.com Radio for 13 years, and broadcasting college football and basketball for the past 26 years, Rooke is also a member of the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame.
Follow him on Twitter - @JRbroadcaster