With long blonde hair flowing out of his helmet, it’s hard to miss Chase Winovich on the practice field. His hair alone makes him stands out. But recently after practice, he’s stood out for a different reason. The rookie defensive end out of Michigan has been spotted providing a pass rush to Tom Brady after practice by hitting him with a bag while the quarterback threw to a ball boy.
The third-round pick hasn’t been getting a ton of reps during training camp. However, each day Winovich has stayed after practice to get additional work in. Today, getting work in with Brady was something new.
“I just happened to be there,” Winovich said of working with Brady. “We already had, kind of, a relationship. There’s a lot of veterans out here that are getting extra work in, and he happened to be out here, and I figured it was maybe a good opportunity to get to know him a little better, and help the team out in any way I can.”
Hitting the quarterback in training camp is usually not permitted, but in this particular case, Winovich didn’t shy away from the opportunity to make his teammate better.
“As hard as I can,” Winovich said when asked how hard he was hitting Brady. “He wouldn’t want me to hold anything back. You can’t be in his positon if you’re not tough.”
Check out the best photos from Patriots Training Camp at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019.
Thursday wasn’t the first time Winovich had the chance to work with one of the best to ever play their position. After Monday’s in-stadium practice, Willie McGinest spent some time teaching the intricacies of pass rushing to Winovich, Deatrich Wise, Michael Bennett and Nick Thurman.
“He’s one of the best to ever play this position in the entire history of the sport. There’s a lot of stuff he was able to teach me,” Winovich said. “We kind of had some familiarity with each other. He was obviously a great player for the Patriots…We had already talked before just picking his brain about techniques and stuff, playing that position. He’s a good guy and a great resource.”
As Winovich looks to add depth to the Patriots defense, what better person to learn from than the two-time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion that played a crucial role as an outside linebacker in some of the best defenses in Patriots’ history.
“It’s easier going through training camp with that expertise. It’s not just him,” Winovich said of McGinest. “My coach has provided a lot of stuff for me. It’s not just one thing any little bit helps.”
While Winovich still has yet to really turn heads at training camp, it’s moments like Monday night with McGinest and after practices with Brady that make him appreciate being a Patriot.
“On a broader scale, just the level of expertise and experience that exists on this team between obviously, Tom Brady, a fellow Michigan man Willie, all my coaches, and the veteran players on this team. There’s a lot of resources, a lot of knowledge, a lot of guidance. Every day I come out here, and if I don’t do something right I have so many people to consult on how to do it better. I think that’s among many reasons what makes this place great.”