- (Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)
Although Tim Tebow was most heralded for his faith during the 2011-2012 season, New England Patriots' Special Teams captain Matthew Slater says he plans to lead his team as a Christian in the Super Bowl.
In a BPSports.net report, Slater spoke about being humbled by leading his team spiritually.
"We have a lot of guys who love Jesus on this team," Slater said. "To be able to lead them in Bible studies, and fellowship with them and pray with them, it means a lot. It's very humbling to think that the Lord would use a simple man like me to do that."
Although Slater is not as outspoken as Tebow about his faith, the special teams captain – who also plays wide receiver and safety for the Patriots – has given the Broncos' quarterback credit.
"I think Tim has brought an awareness to our faith," Slater said in a masslive.com report. "My hat is off to him for what he is doing as far as our faith is concerned. I think that he's challenging other believers across the league to maybe be more open about their beliefs as well."
Despite his acts of faith, Tebow's season has officially ended. Still, Slater's teammates are looking to him for spiritual guidance as they head into the championship game on Sunday.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, running back for New England, said he is happy to have Slater's spiritual support.
"Matthew is great because he does our Bible studies and everything, and I'm always there with him," said Green-Ellis. "We have a good little group of guys, but Matthew oversees it. We're happy to have him on the team -- someone that we can go to and have a Christian brother that we can go and talk to."
Still, Slater, 26, said when he enters the field on Super Bowl Sunday, he will not be playing to gain fanfare. Instead, he is playing for God.
"This is temporary. This is a time where man will give you honor or praise, but at the end of the day I'm playing for an audience of one," Slater said in a BP report. "We're very blessed, and the Lord has shown His favor, and we're here because of the love of Christ."