After spending the first five years of his career with the Buffalo Bills, Scott Chandler is happy to be a New England Patriot. He only caught one pass in his Patriots debut, but he made it count, hauling in a 1-yard touchdown catch to give his team a 21-3 lead en route to a 28-21 over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.
Chandler’s key takeaway? Catching passes from Tom Brady is pretty fun.
“Yeah, it’s fun to watch that guy go to work and to be a part of this team and go out and get a win tonight,” Chandler said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Great way to start the season. I think that we’re all really happy with it right now.”
While Chandler’s touchdown was huge, fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski stole the show, catching five passes for 94 yards and three touchdowns. He also gave up his body in the fourth quarter to recover a fumble on the half-yard line.
“That was a huge play in the game,” Chandler said. “That was big. That guy, he’s a beast. That’s the only way to describe him. He’s phenomenal to watch, phenomenal to play alongside, and it’s really fun to have him on my team now.”
Chandler lost to the Patriots a lot when he was in Buffalo but is happy to be on a team that has won the AFC East 11 of the last 12 seasons. He signed a two-year, $5.3 million contract with New England this offseason.
“It’s been a lot of fun since I got here getting to work with this staff and these guys,” Chandler said. “The team is full of really great guys who work really hard. That’s what leads to our success. It’s been a fun ride. It was great to get a win tonight and hopefully we can get this going and keep it up.”
The Steelers moved the ball on New England all night but couldn’t make plays when they needed to. Ben Roethlisberger was 26-of-38 for 351 yards, but he had just one touchdown – a garbage-time toss to Antonio Brown – to go with one interception. Brown finished with nine catches for 133 yards.
“Yeah, those guys, they’ve done a great job for a few years now,” Chandler said. “They’re tough to stop. I thought our defense did a great job tonight just holding up when they needed to and really just giving us opportunities. When we got in the red zone, we took advantage of them. So it was a good win.”
Chandler, who played college ball at Iowa, was also asked about Tyler Sash, the former Hawkeye and New York Giants safety who was found dead in his home this week. Sash, 27, won a Super Bowl with the Giants during his rookie season.
“That was a tough time for all of us Hawkeyes this week, watching Tyler go too soon,” Chandler said. “Our hearts go out to all his family and friends. It was a sad day for Hawkeyes.”