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Patriots captain Matthew Slater reflects on past letter from Lions coach – Boston Herald

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FOXBORO — In 2011, Patriots captain Matthew Slater was midway through his first Pro Bowl season when an unusual letter arrived in his Gillette Stadium mailbox.

The return address read Dave Fipp, a name Slater recognized as belonging to the Dolphins’ special teams coordinator. Slater and the Patriots had swept Miami that season, first embarrassing them in a season opener and surviving a close finish in Week 16. Fipp had spent hours studying Slater and couldn’t stop him.

So instead, he wrote to push Slater forward with heaps of encouragement and praise.

“l’ll never forget it,” Slater told the Herald. “Because I’ve had great conversations with coaches over the years, but he’s the only person that’s written me a handwritten note. Every time we play Dave, I remember that. And I’m super thankful for men like that, who have encouraged me even if I haven’t worked with them directly, but they’ve been supportive.

“And I have a lot of respect for Dave, the way he coaches his units and just the person that he is. Everyone I know that’s been around him says they love him.”

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