BOSTON -- The amount of work that goes into playing in the NFL is immense. The weight lifting, the conditioning, the diet, the sleep, the routine that is required for players to compete with the best football players in the world requires tremendous dedication and hard work. And when all of that work leads to a 2-10 record and a dreary season, it would only be natural for a player's spirit to be broken.
David Andrews, a captain of the Patriots' offense for seven years running, has been the first face meeting the media after all 10 losses this season. So on Sunday, after a particularly dispiriting 6-0 home loss to the Chargers, Andrews was asked why -- despite the results -- this team has not quit.
"Look, I mean, me personally -- I'm nine years into this thing, 31 years old. Like, I can't do this forever," Andrews said. "And it's not like any other sport. You can go play pickup basketball; you don't play pickup football. So, you don't know how many opportunities you're going to get to play this game -- injuries, guys' health scares, whatever, outside health stuff. You just don't know what opportunities you're going to have. So I think for personally, me, you get to go play this game and play with this group of guys. I think we have a lot of guys that look at the game like that, right? At the end of the day, you're playing for the respect of yourself, the respect of your team, the respect of this team, the organization. So I think there's a lot of reason to go out there and compete every week, and guys have different whys. Some guys play for whatever -- money, fame, whatever it may be. Some guys play [because] they love the game. There's a little bit of all of that. But I think you always have something to play for. And I think if you're going out there without something to play for, it's probably time to move onto something else in life."
Andrews was also asked if the results are taking a mental toll on him personally, and if it's difficult to be the first person to speak after all of these losses.
"No, I mean, look, it's part of my job when I signed up to do this, right? So I think I try to come out here and represent this organization as best I can. I try to do that when I play," Andrews said. "You know, look, the seasons are long, no matter what. When you win, they're long and when they're over, you can take a deep breath. And when you lose, they're long. So, it's obviously a different year than I've ever experienced. It is frustrating because of how much you put into it each week. You toll away at it each day. But that's my job. That's what I'm supposed to do. And it kind of goes back to the reason I said kind of why you do things. And the day I decide that I don't want to put in that work, get up early, lift, do all these things, watch film, all that, it's probably time for me to hang it up. So, thanks guys."
It's an honest answer from a player who's experienced the highs of winning two Super Bowls and is now experiencing the low of winning two out of 12 games. And it explains why going forward, Andrews and most of his teammates will continue putting forth an honest effort.
for more features.