FOXBOROUGH. — With two Super Bowls victories in the past three years, and four Super Bowl appearances in the past decade, the New England Patriots have been the most successful team in all of sports.
All of this success has brought the popularity of the team at an all time high and the players are taking notice.
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New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty addressed the media on Saturday and was asked about his thoughts on practicing in front of these big crowds.
“It’s been awesome,” McCourty said after Saturday’s practice. “Fans have been great since I got here.”
This certainly isn’t McCourty’s first rodeo. McCourty, drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, signed a five-year deal in 2015 to stay in New England. So he’s certainly been around awhile and has experienced plenty of training camp crowds.
McCourty appears to be enjoying his time in New England. During his praise of the fan base, he also had a little fun.
“I was blown away my first training camp here,” he said. “You know to see all these people out here. I just wish they cheered for the defense a little bit more.”
The 29-year-old shouldn’t have to worry much about the fans cheering on the defense this year. With the addition of Stephon Gilmore playing opposite side of Malcolm Butler and more experience from guys like Eric Rowe, this New England secondary should give the fans plenty to cheer about.
The reason McCourty was asked about fan attendance? According to Mike Reiss, 15,349 fans packed the practice fields over the weekend.
Another day of overflow crowds, as Gillette Stadium ramps overlooking practice fields have been opened to accommodate. 15,349 here yesterday
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 28, 2017
And just to put into perspective just how impressive that is, check out the numbers from other teams across the league.
The Denver Broncos Executive Vice President of Public & Community Relations was drooling over a record crowd of 6,161.
In the 15 yrs the Broncos have held camp at UCHealth Training Center, today's crowd of 6,161 was the largest. Great support from great fans! pic.twitter.com/eQIbL81FjL
— Patrick Smyth (@psmyth12) July 30, 2017
And the Seattle Seahawks, who are certainly one of the better organizations in the NFL, only drew a little over 2,000 fans.
Attendance at Seahawks practice today 2,444.
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) July 30, 2017
This type of dedication is a testament to the popularity of this team. So as fans in Foxborough continue to line up hours before the start of a Patriots’ 9:15 practice, just think, as popular as this team is now, the Patriots could win another Super Bowl.