During their championship years, the Patriots had a strong core of leaders who would police the locker room and come down on any player who was perceived to be crossing the line.

Willie McGinest was one of the chief enforcers. Players couldn’t head out to the field without going past McGinest’s locker, which was closest to the door. Plenty of guys were stopped right there by No. 55 for a cautionary chat.

Given the latest escapades involving tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was videotaped performing wrestling moves at a Las Vegas nightclub with his twice-surgically repaired broken left forearm, would those antics have prompted a little McGinest face time?

You bet.

“If there were things that needed to be addressed when I was there, I’d have a conversation with that player, or we had other leaders in the locker room who would talk to him,” McGinest told the Herald on Friday. “I just think, outside of being a professional, it was understanding what you had at risk, what we were there for, and understanding throughout that everybody should be accountable and everybody should be responsible. And you should know that what you do outside the field or outside the locker room directly affects everybody on the team.”