New England Patriots rookie offensive guard Cole Strange did his talking on the football field by stifling Pittsburgh Steelers’ five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Cam Heyward.
Even with the game on the line, the Patriots had so much faith in the matchup that they ran the football to Strange’s side multiple times without the least bit of concern that their first-year player was matched up with one of the best defenders in the league.
Heyward, who is nine years Strange’s elder, was completely overpowered in the trenches and couldn’t do anything to stop it. The same offensive lineman that had served as the punchline for so many draft jokes suddenly looked like a future star in the making.
Many have poked fun at the fact that he was drafted in the first round out of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. At the time, the draft selection looked like a big reach for coach Bill Belichick. Two games into the season and that no longer seems to be the case.
“No! [Expletive] no! I was like, ‘Hell yeah!’ I didn’t give a [expletive],” Strange said, when asked if the jokes bothered him when he was drafted, per Go Long’s Tyler Dunne. “The coaches, the guys on the team, it’s all about culture and winning and just playing ball and working your ass off. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I love it.”
Cole Strange winning 1v1 vs Cam Heyward 👀 pic.twitter.com/wD632j7gS5
— Brett (@TheBg_12) September 18, 2022
No one is laughing at Strange after the performance he had in the Patriots’ 17-14 victory on the road over the Steelers. And no one is laughing at Belichick anymore, either.
The Patriots continue to march to the beat of their own drum, and so far, it looks to be paying off for them, again. Should we really be surprised?