Matthew Slater details how much different playoffs are than regular season, but experience doesn't matter

Ryan Hannable
January 07, 2019 - 5:36 pm

FOXBORO -- Over the course of his career, Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater has played in 20 postseason games, so he knows a thing or two of what to expect.

When speaking Monday at Gillette Stadium, Slater acknowledged playoff games are played at a different speed than the regular season.

"Absolutely. The urgency is very, very, very high," he said. "Everyone understands that there’s no tomorrow for the team that doesn’t come out victorious. So, everybody’s going to be giving you everything they’ve got, every single snap as they should. As I said, this means a lot to so many guys for different reasons, and to have this opportunity is truly a blessing. It’s something that you should never take for granted, and I think that shows up in the speed of play, as you said. Guys are leaving it all out there, so it’ll be a little bit different speed, especially for those young guys. You try to tell them, ‘Hey, expect it to be a certain way,’ but until you get out there and experience it, there’s no really way to understand it."

While Slater has plenty of playoff experience, some of his teammates don't, including some playing in a playoff game for the first time. The veteran said there's no set formula for speaking to players about what is to come, as it varies from player-to-player.

"I think you pick and choose when to have conversations with certain guys and what is said in those conversations. I think you pick and choose," he said. "As Coach [Bill] Belichick has always stressed to our football team in the time that I’ve been here, it’s not only about experience this time of year, it’s about who plays well. I think we saw that show up this weekend. There were inexperienced guys that stepped up and made plays and were ready to go and there were experienced guys that didn’t step up and make plays. So, it’s really about playing well and executing come Sunday no matter who you are, how long you’ve been doing it."

The Patriots will host the Chargers Sunday afternoon in the AFC divisional round.

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