Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New England Patriots [Print without images]

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Slater addresses team on marathon

By Mike Rodak

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The day after Boston was hit by Monday's bombings, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick turned to one of the most respected players in the locker room to address the team.

Speaking at Tuesday's team meeting, special teams captain Matthew Slater told his teammates that Monday's events should put life in perspective.

"We've been blessed -- every one of us, every man that's in that locker room," Slater relayed Thursday. "We live, sort of a life of... I don't want to say 'privilege,' but it is.

"So it's about us not taking things for granted. It's about us valuing the life that we have, the life that our families have. In the big picture, that's much more important than what goes on on the field."

Reporters had the chance to speak to Slater on Thursday about the start of the offseason program this week, but he opened the interview with remarks about Monday's tragedy.

"I just want to let people know out there affected by that event that were injured, or had somebody they knew injured, or killed, or are still battling for their lives, or had to witness that traumatic event, that we're praying for them," Slater said. "I don't think that there's been a time that I've been more proud of this city, this region, with the way people have responded to tragedy."

Slater said he was glad to hear that former Patriots Joe Andruzzi and Matt Chatham, who were in Boston on Monday, were not harmed. He said he knew of others who were planning on heading to the marathon that day.

"That area that was bombed -- we've been there," Slater said. "We've walked around that area, all of us have, (those) that live in the area. So it just really struck home. I know that building. I recognize that place. It definitely struck a nerve."

Known as one of the more spiritual and articulate players in the locker room, Slater's remarks should resonate among players.

"I think we need to be counting out blessing every night that we get home safely," Slater said Thursday. "I think that reminder has been sent to the locker room. We just need to value our friends, family, and the time we have on earth."