Chase Winovich settling into life as a Patriot

Andy Hart
September 12, 2019 - 5:09 pm

FOXBOROUGH -- Chase Winovich was a star both on the Wolverines football team and around campus at the University of Michigan.

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Arriving in New England as a third-round pick, the rookie outside linebacker built a pretty swift following with some impressive preseason action this summer.

That production earned him not only a roster spot, but a game day role as both reserve defender and special teams contributor for the Sunday Night Opener against the Steelers.

Even for college stars, the jump to NFL regular season action is a big one. In many ways, Winovich’s debut was as dream come true for the kid who grew up in the Pittsburgh area.

“It was really cool getting to play the Steelers. I grew up watching the Steelers, playing the Pittsburgh area youth football,” Winovich said Thursday afternoon after practice. “And everyone that I knew had some sort of Steelers memorabilia. I don’t think there is anybody in the Pittsburgh area that didn’t have at least a t-shirt. It was pretty humbling experience. But I’m just happy to be here and happy to have this opportunity that I have.”

Winovich had one tackle on defense on a night that included 38 defensive snaps and another 13 plays on special teams in a blowout win over Pittsburgh.

Now that he’s broken the seal so to speak on his NFL career, it’s all business moving forward trying to be the best he can be, contribute the best way he can.

“Yeah it definitely felt good, to break the ice in a sense,” Winovich said of the opening night action. “Where it’s like you are not really sure what to expect because even in preseason people talked about, ‘oh, the speed is going to be different.’ There are different levels to it. There are special teams. There’s defense. From my experience, at least. It definitely felt good just to be able to have that experience and get that first game under my belt. That’s in the past. I’m looking forward to Miami this week and taking things one step at a time.”

Known for his relentless high motor and pass rush skills, Winovich has already come to realize that nothing comes easy in the NFL, even for a guy with his talents and confidence.

“There is a lot more that goes into every piece of everything you do, I’d say,” Winovich said. “Everything is, A) it’s a lot more competitive because if you don’t do it somebody else will. And secondly the competition is obviously a lot better. I remember when I was coming out of college just asking, ‘what do the tackles in the NFL play like?’ This was their quote, ‘the backups on the team are as good if not better than any tackle that you’ll face in college.’ That kind of put things into perspective. But I’m pretty decent at football as well. So I like to think that I can at least give them a run for their money.”

In the midst of his second week of regular season game preparation, getting ready for his first road trip to take on the Dolphins, Winovich is happy his NFL debut is behind him but hesitant to say he’s used to the process of the work week at this point in his professional life.

“I don’t know about hitting my stride. But like I said, Tuesday is in the past. I’m just focused on how I can finish today on top and be the best I can be today and tomorrow,” Winovich said. “I’m really, really blessed to be in this position.”

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