Sitting beside Tim Tebow on the football field at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, former Patriots’ defensive end Jake Bequette reflected on how his two-year run with the New England Patriots prepared him for a career in the U.S. Army.
Former Patriots DE @JakeBequette91, now a 2nd Lieutenant, shares with @TimTebow how the @Patriots influenced his career in the US Army — more tonight on @SportsCenter
Veterans Day Special (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2). pic.twitter.com/725DKoryEQ
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 7, 2019
In a segment that aired on ESPN on Thursday, the 2nd Lieutenant explained how he uses the Patriots’ four key rules he learned on the football field to motivate his soldiers in combat.
“On the front door of the [Patriots] facility is the four rules of the team: do your job, work hard, be attentive [and] put the team first,” he recounted. “Those are things that I can show my soldiers, guys in my organization, “You don’t have to be super talented. You don’t have to be the biggest, strongest, fastest guy, if you do those four simple things, you’re going to be successful.”
Bequette, who was drafted by the Patriots in the third round in 2012 and was part of the team that won Super Bowl XLIX, said he felt a “calling to service” in the military after being waived by the Patriots in 2015.
“I wanted to play football for as long as I could,” Bequette told Tebow. “I had a good career, but I was still a relatively young man when I was done playing ball. I knew I had the chance to serve in the infantry, to go to rangers school and to be an entry officer in a great organization like 101st. That’s an opportunity I could not pass up.
“As an American, we live in the greatest country on Earth,” he added. “It’s not by accident that we are who we are and we have the liberties and the freedoms that we have. It’s because able-bodied young men and women volunteer to serve in armed forces. Truly I believe it was a calling to serve.”
With that, Bequette credits an encounter he had with Tom Brady for setting “the tone” for his entire career. He remembers walking into a team meeting room on his first day with the team as a rookie and seeing the Patriots’ quarterback there before anyone else, taking notes before the meeting even started.
“I was very lucky to be on the Patriots” he said. “I walked in my first day in 2012, and the guy who was the first one in the meeting room scribbling notes furiously in that first team meeting was Tom Brady. Here’s this guy, the best quarterback of all time, and he’s in this generic spring practice meeting like it’s his first day of rookie mini-camp.”
“That set the tone for my whole career.”