(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Day two of Patriots Training Camp produced an unexpected result--compliments for a particular New England veteran.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has never been one to, at least publicly, go off the charts and heap praise on any one of his players. His comments are usually reserved for that week's opponents, who, regardless of their record, are usually described as the best team in football. But Friday morning, when Belichick was asked about place kicker Stephen Gostkowski's value to the team, Belichick all but gushed.
"Steve's a good example for all of us, all players and coaches," he said. "He's got a very professional attitude. He's a good teammate, but he works good at his job to do his job well to help the team--and that's really the motto for all of us."
There's no doubt Gostkowski has been good--in fact, better than that. The 13-year vet is, after all, a four-time Pro Bowler, has the most points of any player in New England history, and is the third-most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL. But Belichick said it's about more than his right foot's accuracy.
"I think he showed an incredible amount of maturity and poise his rookie year," Belichick said. "He came into probably as difficult a situation as any rookie player that I've brought onto a team, with what the expectations were with him--obviously, what Adam [Viniateri] had done before he was here."
Belichick wasn't quite done with praise for his kicker, but did show a flash of his own midseason form when asked how Gostkowski would fare this season with the NFL's adjusted kickoff rules.
"Well, we'll see," he said. "We'll see."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Chris Fama (@cfama_wbz) reports