Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers apologized to teammates for his viral "we ass" hot mic remark to Saquon Barkley after Sunday's Giants loss, taking ownership while noting the 2-9 team has more pressing issues, though he did express regret the frustrated comment was released publicly and cited the need for better execution from Patriot players. (Erik Drost / Wikimedia)

Peppers Regrets Viral Hot Mic Jab, Says Patriots Have Bigger Issues

New England Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers publicly apologized on Friday for comments he made to former teammate and current New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley following last Sunday’s game between the teams.

Peppers was quoted in a hot mic moment telling Barkley, “You lucky we ass” after the Giants beat the Patriots 10-7. The comments quickly went viral on social media.

When asked about the incident on Friday, Peppers said he wanted to apologize to his coaches and teammates “for even having to answer questions about that.” He said the 2-9 Patriots have “more important things to worry about” than his comments being overheard on a microphone Barkley was wearing for NFL Films.

“It’s not no shot at anybody in the locker room. I said ‘we.’ We own that. I own that,” Peppers remarked.

The 28-year-old safety has been a bright spot for the Patriots this season, starting all 11 games while totals 59 tackles and a team-best six passes defended. Peppers said he wants “to be part of the solution” for turning things around.

As for the hot mic comments, Peppers didn’t take back what he said but did voice regret that the comments were released publicly.

“I know better,” said Peppers, in his seventh NFL season. “That was a little frustration.”

Peppers credited Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his staff for putting together good game plans each week. However, he said players need to execute those plans more consistently.

“We have great players in the locker room, but every team has great players,” Peppers commented. “There is great parity across the league. If those great players aren’t executing, that team isn’t a good team.”

Still, Peppers vouched for the character of his Patriots teammates. He believes everyone comes ready to work hard each week. “The ball just hasn’t been rolling in our favor and that’s on no one but us,” he stated.

New England hosts the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

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