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One of the Patriots Rookie Tight Ends is Already Mastering the Art of Embracing the Hate

Dalton Keene for the win! 

How about that from the rookie? He hasn't been to a practice yet. In all likelihood has never even visited team facilities or met his coaches in person. And already he's learning to assimilate into the culture of Foxboro. 

Patriots players are expected to be prepared. Hard working. Intelligent. Diligent. Accountable. And whenever necessary, a little bit paranoid. The sign on the way out of the door at Gillette says "Ignore the Noise," but they want you to hear the doubter, the critics and the haters enough to take the crude oil of their negativity and refine it into rocket fuel. 

It's been that way since 2001. When the world told the future champions they were finished once Drew Bledsoe was almost killed in Week 2. It continued through the Snow Bowl, when the world insisted they didn't deserve to win because of the Tuck Rule call, which was correct, by the way. It only increased when they went to Pittsburgh for the conference championship and Ty Law spotted all the Steelers' bags already packed for New Orleans. And it culminated with them being 14-point dogs to St. Louis. Rodney Harrison perfected the art. Belichick made it a lifestyle. Through fake scandals and phony cheating allegations and stolen draft picks and claims the Dynasty was finished that have been going on for about 15 years. 

Now the torch has been passed to a new generation. A rookie tight end third round draft pick out of Virginia Tech that is hearing he'll never be good enough because Skip Bayless doesn't know who he is. Joining a bunch of veterans already salty because people are saying they're done without their franchise quarterback. It's 2001 all over again. History repeating itself. Time still being a flat circle. And it does my heart a world of good. 

I think I'm going to like this guy. 

And something tells me the Skip Baylesses of the world are going to remember his name.