Cassius Marsh did a players profile in the San Francisco Chronicle where he decided to let loose about how he wasn’t having a good ol’ time in New England and drops something shocking… They don’t have “fun”.
In New England, Marsh, a classic speed rusher, said he was miscast as a “coverage” linebacker. And he became so disenchanted with his role and the Patriots’ culture that he “wanted to get waived” when he requested a meeting with head coach Bill Belichick that precipitated his exit.
“They asked me to do a bunch of stuff that I had never done: covering running backs and receivers and basically almost never rushing the passer, which is what I did in playing defensive line,” Marsh said. “They don’t have fun there. There’s nothing fun about it. There’s nothing happy about it. I didn’t enjoy any of my time there, you know what I’m saying? It made me for the first time in my life think about not playing football because I hated it that much.”
In Seattle, Marsh enjoyed the family-like culture he thinks is being replicated with the 49ers, but he didn’t carve out a significant role. In 2014, a broken foot ended his rookie season after five games. Then, he lost his biggest supporter when defensive coordinator Dan Quinn left to become the Falcons’ head coach and was replaced by Kris Richard.
“I was kind of left with a coach who it was almost like he was almost fighting to keep me off the field,” Marsh said. “I had to really fight and scratch and claw for any opportunities I had. Obviously, we had a very deep defensive line, especially at the defensive-end position. It was just constantly being told that (I was) kind of like a backup type of guy. But I knew and believed in myself: That’s not who I am.”
You know what. I feel for the guy. No, really. He was clearly such an immense talent that the first thing that Bill Belichick should have said was “Man if I need to send any message to my team today, it’s that we’re all about fun. Fun is our top priority and Cassius needs to see that.”
Please. Can we act like this is something new? The Patriots way has been something that multiple coaches have attempted to copy in the NFL but have all failed at. Josh McDaniels goes off to the Rams and the Broncos, attempts to instill that same culture into those locker rooms and it just doesn’t work. It takes a special kind of coach and honestly, Bill Belichick may be the only coach in football with the vast amount of respect to pull it off.
My man Cassius just didn’t pan out to what the Patriots thought that he would. The defensive-end came over from Seattle via a trade where the Patriots surrendered two draft picks. I remember this move being made and when it happened, you almost kind of had to sit back and think that Belichick may see something in this guy. Bill loves his draft picks and just the mere fact that he mustered up the courage to part ways with two picks for a defensive-end must have meant something encouraging, right?
Marsh flamed out of here very, very quickly and he even became one of the key focal points with a massive face plant in the Patriots opening debacle during the 2017 season against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The only memory that stands out for me while Cassius Marsh was in a #Patriots uniform
— Mike ‘Sarge’ Riley (@Sarge985) May 29, 2018
It isn’t a secret that Marsh’s time spent in New England was immensely short. It was almost like the guy showed up, played a few snaps, got smoked and that was it. Next thing you know he’s cut in November and the Patriots are short two draft picks.
One of my favorite parts of this quote above is that he talks about having to deal with a coach who was almost fighting to keep him off of the field. First of all, Belichick doesn’t fight to keep people off of the field. He just keeps people off of the field. It’s his team and that’s why this culture exists in the first place.
He also highlights being asked to do things that he’s never done. He was rattled that he was being asked to cover running backs when his primary role in the past was to be a sole pass rusher. Honestly, that’s fine to an extent. But if you’re going to be with the New England Patriots, and I truly feel like with any successful organization, then you’re going to be requested to do a variety of different jobs. Right? You aren’t going to stay put in one area because guess what? When the opposing offense sees you lined up, they’d plan for your rush because hey, that’s all you do, right? But also, Bill Belichick clearly has no idea what he’s doing on the field. None. Asinine to even think that he would be coaching a football team with the little amount of success that he’s been the main force behind.
The Patriot way isn’t for everyone. Well, then again I guess that means winning isn’t for everyone either. I’d like to see this guy succeed I guess? I don’t feel strong enough to hate him for saying this because if you hated it you hated it. Big deal. But to air it out and just be pissed that Bill Belichick had different plans for you and be upset that you weren’t performing to his standards so he decided to dump you is slightly unsettling if your a team looking for a guy dedicated to winning football games.
Show up. Practice. Improve. Win. If you want to sum up the Patriot way, there it is. And truthfully, doing your job within those parameters doesn’t seem to be too daunting of a task.
-Nick Quaglia (@NickQuag)