John Keim, who covers the Washington Redskins for ESPN.com's NFL Nation, posted a Q&A with defensive end Andre Carter today. Carter, of course, spent five seasons with the Redskins.
Carter has been one of the Patriots' most well-liked players in his two stints with the team, first in 2011 and then in 2013. He still has hopes of playing again in 2014.
Carter shared some Patriots-based insights in the Q&A.
"Being with New England gives you a different perspective, especially this year," he said. "We had a lot of major injuries and a lot of key guys out. We could have turned it in early. But Bill [Belichick] kept us humble and hungry. He took guys not as talented as the other players who were out, but they worked their butts off.
"When a group of men believes in one another and you do your job, that's what we did. We did our job. There's no secret pill or drink we took. We just focused and tried to out-execute our opponents. If we had taken that mentality [in Washington] and used it to our advantage, who knows what we could have done? Live and learn from experience."
Carter also touched on the role of the Patriots' coaching staff.
"One thing the [Patriots] do so well is they evaluate themselves from a coaching standpoint and in evaluating players," he said. "When I got there in 2011, one coach had worked there 10 years. Another had been there 12 years. Another guy learning to be an offensive line coach had been there for three or four years. The staff was such a tight-knit group and they worked together.
"It's tough when you don't have consistency in coaches. The philosophy and style changes. The play-calling changes. The scheme changes. It's like starting over. That's one of the toughest things from a team standpoint to go through. With the Patriots, you knew who we had and who they could trust and when you have that consistency it makes things so much easier."