|Jeremy Shockey not short on perspective||08.11.10 at 6:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Without his helmet on Tuesday and Wednesday following practice with the Patriots, it was very, very easy to mistake Jeremy Shockey for a young, powerful tight end on the New Orleans Saints. There stood a neatly-groomed, smiling and calm 6’5″ tight end articulating how lucky he was to be playing for a defending Super Bowl champion.
Then a closer look at the tatoos on his right arm and the No. 88 on his white jersey confirmed that one of the most vocal players in the NFL over the last decade was indeed readying himself for Thursday night’s preseason opener with Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
This was a special treat for Shockey and fellow University of Miami alum Brandon Meriweather to get together in a more relaxed setting than the environment both played under when they met last Nov. 30 at the Superdome.
Shockey repeated what his head coach Sean Payton and others said on Tuesday, that the Patriots are what they want to become – a year-in, year-out success in the NFL.
“I think we’ve definitely gotten better,” Shockey said. “Since coming to New Orleans, coach wanted to emulate this team [Patriots] as much as possible and I think this team does a great job on and off the field. I think our team has definitely proven to everyone we’re as notable as the Patriots.”
One way to approach that is by accomplishing what the Patriots did in 2003 and 2004, repeating as Super Bowl champs, the last NFL franchise of the seven to do it. [The Steelers are the only franchise to accomplish it twice]
“There’s only been [seven] teams to win back-to-back and history tells you it’s very hard to do,” Shockey said. “We’re just focused on every day at practice and each and every single time to get better. That’s probably one of the things our team is very good at, concentrating, coming out here to practice against the Patriots, which has been good for us, and I think we’ve definitely gotten something out of it.
“It’s a month away and we still have some work to do. Obviously, it’s early in the preseason and you just have to get better every day, grind it out. It’s something you have to go through.
In answering questions about soreness in his knees, whether that is bothering his him and whether his team is up to the challenge of repeating as Super Bowl champs, Shockey looked to be growing tired of the repetition – much like training camp itself.
“I’m fine,” the 29-year-old Shockey said. “It’s football. You’re going to be sore, you’re going to have knicks and bruises and stuff. I’m not really concerned about that. I’m just concerned about getting better and I think our football has gotten better.”