Another Super Bowl. Another year with the New England Patriots playing in it.
It’s no secret that the Patriots over the past two decades have been the most successful franchise in the NFL, if not the single most successful franchise in all of professional sports. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and others may seem to be omnipresent when it comes to the Super Bowl. This year’s appearance is the Patriots’ eighth since Brady took over as starting quarterback in 2001.
But from a spiritual perspective, there’s something new to this team. Jack Easterby, who serves as the character coach and chaplain for the Patriots, said new faces on the team this year have brought a new depth and spiritual vitality to the team.
“Rex Burkhead and Brandin Cooks are both absolutely phenomenal,” Easterby said. “We’re talking about elite Christian leadership in both of those guys — love the Lord, love their families, Bible every day. They have been tremendous lights for Jesus in this building.”
Burkhead, a running back who played at the University of Nebraska, came to the Patriots this year from the Cincinnati Bengals.
“It’s been a blessing, for sure,” Burkhead said about joining the Patriots and getting plugged into team Bible studies and chapels. “We’ve grown in so many ways throughout this season through adversity.”
His foundation as a follower of Christ, Burkhead said, is central to what he does on the field.
“It gives you purpose, something to play for, to go out there and glorify God, not to glorify yourself or have motivations to play for awards or certain stats or trophies or whatever that may be,” he told reporters Monday (Jan. 29) during the Super Bowl LII Opening Night event at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
Easterby said Burkhead is a humble man, who’s always the first one to ask about players in need and what he can do to help them.
When Burkhead got hurt playing against Pittsburgh, he seemed more concerned about the welfare of his teammates than he was about himself.
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Source: Baptist Press