For the New England Patriots, it's been a long journey - from the OTAs in May, training camp in July, making roster cuts, going through the regular season and playing in the postseason. Now, the team is just three days away from an NFL-record ninth Super Bowl appearance.
And they wouldn't have gotten here without one another.
While taking questions on Wednesday, Patriots' offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels spoke highly of the team's and organization's bond throughout the season.
“I think our guys have a tremendous feeling for the other guys that are in there together because we made it," said McDaniels per CSNNE.com, "To be able to understand what that person went through — where’s he from, what’s his family story outside of football -- I just think that makes our bond even stronger."
"This group, we use the word ‘love’ a lot in our building and we don’t have any shame in saying it," he added.
"They’re not afraid to express that, and then the young guys feel, ‘It’s OK for me to tell this guy how I feel about him as a person.' I just think it’s a unique circle of people, and we’re happy to be here, we’re happy to have an opportunity to compete together on Sunday night."
To be a championship team, you have to have the utmost respect for one another. It's about pride, confidence, leadership and love.
And that's exactly what McDaniels says the Patriots have.