Young Patriots pass rusher Trey Flowers embracing leadership role

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Trey Flowers
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Trey Flowers /

New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers is coming off a great second season in the NFL, now he is ready to become a leader on defense.

With the retirement of Rob Ninkovich and the departures of Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard, third-year defensive end Trey Flowers suddenly has a larger role.  The 23-year-old New England Patriots defensive end is ready for the challenge and ready to become a leader.

Following a 2016 season in which he took a major step forward, Flowers is entering the 2017 season with still a lot to prove.  First and foremost, he wants to prove 2016 was no fluke.

Secondly, he wants to prove he has what it takes to make those around him better.  With young players like Deatrich Wise and Derek Rivers entering the mix, along with newly acquired defensive end Kony Ealy, Flowers will certainly get the chance.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Arkansas alum have already taken those players under his wing and likes the progress he is seeing so far.

"“They’re dedicated to getting better,” Flowers said, via the Boston Herald.  “That’s the thing – from the college level to the professional level, you gotta be pros, so you’re not going to have anybody to ask you to do stuff or asks you to do things.  You pretty much have to do stuff on your won and work on your craft, so for them to go out there and understand the importance of that, understand the importance of working your craft, it’s definitely good.”"

Flowers will be a good example of that commitment.  He went from sitting out the majority of his rookie season to delivering one of the plays that helped the Patriots complete their comeback victory in Super Bowl LI.

Related Story: New England Patriots DE Trey Flowers Turning Hard Work into Success

A new season brings new challenges

Now, entering a season in which expectations will be much higher as far as his ability goes, Flowers knows he still needs growth.

More from Chowder and Champions

Perhaps part of that growth will be stepping up to the challenge and showing players like Wise and Rivers what it means to work hard.  Trey Flowers got his chance due to the trade of Chandler Jones and the early season struggles of Jabaal Sheard.  Those players will now have a similar opportunity.

Like he looked up to Ninkovich, Long and Sheard, Flowers knows he now has players looking up to him.

"“You understand that there’s a lot of guys looking up to you and you probably got the most experience as far on the defensive front,” Flowers continued.  “I’m still learning, so I’m all ears.  It’s not like I know everything that Rob knows now.  I’m still learning, but it’s definitely one of those roles that I’m anticipating stepping into and if they have any questions for me, then I’m there to answer.”"

Next: New England Patriots: The 10 greatest defensive players of all-time

While the New England Patriots are stacked at just about every other position, edge rusher is a concern entering the preseason.  Along with Flowers, the team will count on either Wise or Rivers to make an impact.

They are also counting on Kony Ealy, who has struggled to catch on in training camp.