Get to know Patriots character coach Jack Easterby, the man who worked closely with Josh Gordon

Ryan Hannable
January 29, 2019 - 4:24 pm
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ATLANTA -- In Josh Gordon's four months with the Patriots, he may not have spent more time with anyone in the organization than character coach Jack Easterby.

Especially at the beginning, Easterby was by Gordon's side almost the entire time.

In Week 3, even though Gordon was inactive after being acquired earlier in the week, he was on the field pregame in Detroit playing catch and joking around with Easterby.

Easterby has never spoken to the media before, but was allowed to Monday at Opening Night in Atlanta.

“My job is to serve anybody and everybody in the building, to help them however I can, to help us be prepared on and off the football field, to be prepared as men, as people, and hopefully stay out of the way,” Easterby said to reporters. “And then also to be the glue for our team. We have a lot of issues that come up throughout the year, as you can imagine. It’s a roller coaster — a six-month roller coaster that we go through as a team.”

It has been a long road for Easterby to get to New England.

He's worked with a number of college and pro teams, including the Chiefs following the murder-suicide of linebacker Jovan Belcher and then out of the recommendation of Scot Pioli, Easterby joined the Patriots in 2013 following Aaron Hernandez being arrested for murder.

“When you lead people, you need to be with them at all points,” Easterby said. “And to me, one of the biggest things is you come in as a servant no matter if you’re winning and you’ve won Super Bowls — which we’ve been blessed to do — or if you are going through challenges, like we did when I first got here. You have to serve. You have to take the kid gloves off. You’ve got to get dirty and serve and work through any and every issue that’s thrown your way.”

Easterby is a fixture in the Patriots locker room during the week, often times leaving spiritual and motivational cards in players' lockers, while also spending as much time as he can with the players often times speaking on things other than football.

"We all have things that we need to be maintenanced,” Easterby said. “We need to be loved. We need to be given purpose. And I think that sports give us that, but also, we need to make sure we take care of the people that are involved in sports. …

“Sports is a team. It’s relationships. It’s loving people. … It’s all about relationships, and relationships have gotten me here.”

While it may seem like a small role, Easterby is an integral part of the Patriots organization and is certainly deserves some credit for the team's recent success.

Related: Bill Belichick defends Matt Patricia: 'I think Matt is a great coach'

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