New England Patriots: Trey Flowers is ready to be even better in 2017
By Nick Ziegler
New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers had a breakout season in 2016. Is this just the tip of the iceberg for him?
Coming into the 2016 season, few people would have predicted that Trey Flowers would be one of the best defensive players on the New England Patriots.
With a rotation at defensive end, the Patriots used a lot of players in certain situations last season. This worked well, as many players had good seasons because of it.
In that rotation, it was Flowers who really stood out. As a former fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Flowers was able to have his breakout year in 2016. Last season, Flowers led the team with seven sacks, as he was their best pass-rusher for most of the season.
"“I don’t look too highly on it because last year was last year,” Flowers said to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “The last game was the last game. I could look at that game, and there’s a lot of plays that I missed, a lot of opportunities that I missed that I should have had. That’s just all about staying hungry. Having the Super Bowl that I had in the biggest game of my career, understand while watching the film, ‘You did all right, but you could have done better.’"
In the Super Bowl, Flowers really shined. He was able to total 2.5 sacks in the game and was one of the main reasons why the Patriots were able to pull off the comeback. While he had a strong showing last season, Flowers is just getting going.
"“I’ve got that mentality coming into the season. Any opportunity I’ve got, I want to improve on being more productive. This will be my first time coming in and being able to produce at a high level. Being able to understand my role; I know my role now. Being able to live in that role, I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to stay hungry.”"
Even though he is a young player, Flowers’ mindset is that of a veteran. Knowing how hard it is to get into the NFL, Flowers is well aware that someone is always coming for your spot.
"“I had a decent season last year, but that’s not the mark, not the only thing I want to be remembered as. You always want to improve. You can never stay the same. A lot of guys in this league are out there working either coming for your spot or trying to stop you, so you’ve definitely got to improve because once you stay the same, somebody else will pass you.”"
After totaling seven sacks last season, Flowers could certainly be gunning for double digits in 2017. With an eye on repeating, the Patriots have done a good job adding some more depth to their defensive line.
Next: Early 53-man roster projection
Even though the unit doesn’t have a dominant player on paper, Flowers is certainly the defensive lineman with the most potential on New England. As his confidence continues to grow, Flowers might be ready to take the league by storm in 2017.