New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s outstanding season serves a reminder to the other great defensive backs to wear the No. 24 in a Patriots’ uniform.
Just a year ago at this time, New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was just coming into his own in his first season with the team. Fast forward to the beginning of 2019 and Gilmore has morphed into one of the best cornerbacks in the game.
After signing a 5-year, $65 million deal, Gilmore didn’t start his career in a Patriots’ uniform on the right track. He struggled with communication and just didn’t seem to be a good fit in New England. But, like great players do, Gilmore kept working hard and by the end of the season established himself as the team’s top cornerback.
That upward trend continued in 2018. Gilmore’s dynamic play earned him Pro Bowl and first team All-Pro honors. A true lockdown cornerback, Stephon Gilmore had added his name to a short list of great defensive backs to have ever worn the No. 24 for the New England Patriots.
As the lone player to make the Pro Bowl for the Patriots in 2018, Gilmore has heaped praise from his teammates, particularly Tom Brady who gushed about his all-around greatness.
"“He’s had a great year and he’s been just so solid,” Brady said during his news conference Thursday. “It’s tough to complete the ball on him. We feel that way in practice. I’ve played with a lot of good corners and he’s right up there with the best of them. He knocks the ball away, intercepts the ball, makes the quarterback pay. He’s physical, good in the run game, good in zone, good in short, intermediate deep. I mean, he’s all-around just been a great player for us.”"
Allowing just 42 catches on 90 targets for 466 yards, Stephon Gilmore has shutdown some great wide receivers in 2018. In the playoffs, he will be sure to line up across from some of the league’s best (possibly Keenan Allen and Tyreek Hill).
By adding a great postseason to his stellar regular season, Gilmore will establish himself as one of the greatest to wear the No. 24 and will put him on this short list of cornerbacks who represented the number in top fashion.