Stephon Gilmore took the heat as a sign of respect.
The New England Patriots’ cornerback was greeted with a hearty round of boos after being announced as the tackler on one of the first plays of the game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
“It's part of it. Fans going to be fans,” Gilmore said after his new team came away with an easy 23-3 win at New Era Field. “You know, I played here five years. Maybe (the boos) are a good thing, you know? The type of player I am.”
Gilmore certainly got the last laugh, finishing with three tackles and two passes defensed in the win. The analytics website Pro Football Focus gave Gilmore its best grade of any New England player, charging him with just two completions for 22 yards on six targets.
Gilmore was targeted three times in the red zone on drive in the fourth quarter by Bills rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, but didn’t allow any of the passes to be caught, including a fourth-and-goal fade route intended for Zay Jones.
“They threw it my way three or four times in the red zone,” Gilmore said. “I’m like, ‘they really trying to score a touchdown on me no matter how much they’re down.’
“I wasn't letting them score, no matter what. I don't care if we were up 60, I wasn't letting him score. That's how I am.”
After a tough start to his first season in New England that included a concussion that cost him three weeks, Gilmore has come on lately. Asked if there was any extra motivation to stick it to the team that let him go, Gilmore downplayed the revenge factor.
“I know what type of player I am,” he said. “They’ve got to handle whatever they’ve got going, and I’m happy over here where I’m at.”
Story topics: Stephon Gilmore