FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran wide receiver Nate Washington, who signed a one-year, $1.065 million contract with the New England Patriots in March, said a conversation with Patriots Hall of Famer Willie McGinest has given him a preview of sorts as he joins the fourth team of his 12-year career.
"I had a chance to talk to him a couple of weeks ago, once he found out I signed, and the No. 1 thing he told me is 'It's going to be good for you, because they're going to pay attention to the detail and they're going to get you in the aspect of making sure you're pushing yourself every single day. Those guys work hard every single day and don't take a day off. Those coaches, they work hard every single day and don't take a day or a minute off.' To be in that type of atmosphere gave me some type of understanding, especially at not only this point of my career but this point in my life, to what I needed.
"I needed a bunch of guys that were going to make me better. Although I'm 32 and although this is my 12th year in the league, I do feel like I can get better physically and mentally. And I needed to be around a core of guys that can push me to that point. His advice pretty much summed up what I've been hearing from everybody, which is that it's a hard-working group of guys; they're going to be into the game, they're going to know their opponent, and they're going to go out there with a belief that they can get the job done. I want to go out there with that attitude. ..."
Washington relayed how he first connected with McGinest.
"When I was growing up in this league, he was definitely [someone] I respected so much, how he went about the game," he said. "I think the first time we crossed paths was when he was coming out to look at our team. I introduced myself. There was a tremendous amount of respect I had for him. ... I think he's a tremendous guy that has put in a lot of work in his career. How could I, as a younger guy, not want to follow [that]?"