PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount spent two-plus seasons with the New England Patriots, winning a pair championships in that time. He remains tight with several of his former teammates and is even part of a regular group chat with New England running backs James White, Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden.
But Blount is cutting them off now that things are getting serious before Super Bowl LII.
"Straight enemy mode," he said. "Ain't no friends, no homies, none of that. We know what we're going to do; they know what they're going to do. We've got the same goal in mind. It ain't no hard feelings. It just is what it is."
Blount enjoyed a career year with the Patriots in 2016, setting career highs in carries (299), yards (1,161) and touchdowns (18). He was in no mood to reminisce, however, after Thursday's padded practice.
"I don't play for the Patriots anymore. I don't watch the Patriots, I don't care about the Patriots," he said. "I focus on what we need to do to put us in the best position to win this game. I had a great time there last year, but last year is last year."
Blount said he might have jumped into the group chat once or twice since the NFC Championship Game but that there were no congratulations offered on either side. He has since shut those texts down.
"We ain't got nothing to talk about. Ain't nothing for us to talk about. Ain't nothing for us to discuss," he said. "They play for that team; I play for my team."
"I don't play for the Patriots anymore. I don't watch the Patriots, I don't care about the Patriots. I focus on what we need to do to put us in the best position to win this game. I had a great time there last year, but last year is last year."
Defensive end Chris Long has history with the Patriots, too, as part of the Super Bowl-winning New England squad last season. But he's quite adept at turning the emotional faucet off when it comes to game time.
"I've played my brother before, so I'm not worried about playing former teammates," Long said, referencing Kyle Long, a guard for the Chicago Bears. "They have the same objective we have. They're a great football team, we're a great football team. When the whistle blows, you're not buddies anymore."
Blount said that he was in "enemy mode" multiple times during the interview and at one point responded "no emotions" when asked about New England.
It was pointed out to him that his mindset very much aligned with the "Patriot Way," in that both Blount and coach Bill Belichick's Patriots try to operate without emotion and make the team they're playing a faceless opponent. Staying in character, Blount responded, "Who is 'they'? I don't know who 'they' are."