FOXBOROUGH — Everybody knows DeatrichWise is one of hardest-working Patriots players — if he's not alone at the top of the list. Request him for an interview at your own peril after a training camp practice. Be prepared to be there a while. He almost conducts another practice, sometimes by himself, for about 30-45 minutes after the official practice ended.
He's got pass-rush moves to work on. First against a sled. Then against someone else. He'll take a rookie aside and work on handwork for another 20 minutes.
"I have goals of being great," Wise said recently. "To be great, you have to keep working — work on your strength and strengthen your weaknesses."
See, it's this unique attitude that as me thinking a lot about Wise as cutdown day nears. I've had him off the roster on the last three versions of my 53-man roster. Yes, the same guy I said appeared to be "the real deal" two weeks into his rookie camp.
It's not him, it's the Patriots. They've changed (on defense). People grow apart (in scheme).
We'll get into all that, but there's a quote attributed to BillBelichick from his acolytes that I always come back to this time of year, which speaks to the Wise predicament and others like him: you're putting together the best team, not the most talented 53 players.
And that's why I keep coming back to Wise and staring at his name on the depth chart: Man, that guy is good to have around on a team. He has one of the unique personalities you'll come across. He's just a guy you want to be around. He makes you and his teammates feel good. Maybe Belichick feels the same way.
Take Wise coming back from off-season ankle surgery. Most players,