Patriots

Colts’ Stephon Gilmore on return to Foxborough: ‘one of the best football cities in America’

The former Patriots corner had plenty of praise for Bill Belichick, Mac Jones, and Foxborough.

On Sunday, Stephon Gilmore will return to Foxborough for the first time since he was traded in 2020.

The Patriots swapped Gilmore for a 2023 sixth-round pick, sending the five-time Pro Bowler to Carolina. The following year, when his contract expired, he signed a two-year deal to join the Indianapolis Colts, who the Patriots will host this week.

Despite being traded and having to face his old team, Gilmore still has fond memories of Foxborough, according to the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian.

“I had a lot of great games, a lot of accolades, and I got coached by a great coach,” Gilmore told the Herald “(Owner) Robert Kraft was great to me, too. It’s where I played some of my best ball. We won a lot there. So it was a great experience. It was a great place to play. There’s a great atmosphere there. And it’s a great opportunity for me to play there again. To me, it’s one of the best football cities in America.”

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Patriots quarterback Mac Jones still considers Gilmore a “premier” cornerback. The second-year quarterback said he appreciated learning from Gilmore during his rookie season last year.

“I have all the respect in the world for him,” Jones said Wednesday at a press conference. “And how he treated me when I was here young. Just some of the information he gave me in the training room or just at his locker. He’s definitely an all-time dude and I’m excited to go against him.”

Gilmore picked up some of that knowledge from Bill Belichick, whom he praised for the way the coach prepares throughout the week.

 “I learned a little more about formation recognition and things like that,” Gilmore said. “How to be a pro, how to really lock in on your technique, and how to play different guys certain ways.”

Having played for the Patriots from 2018-2021, Gilmore knows quite a bit about about New England’s offensive tendencies. He’s helping Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger prepare as much as he can.

“I’m helping him a little, but not as much as you think,” Gilmore said. “Each week, [New England’s defense]changes, so you can never really tell what they’re going to do each week. Bill’s such a great coach, he changes game plans every week.”

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Gilmore has 29 tackles this season with an interception. The Colts have lost three of their last four games, but there is still a mutual respect between Belichick and Gilmore.

“He’s obviously a good cornerback,” Belichick said.

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