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Former Patriots Player Criticizes Patriots Way, Again

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, “Former Patriot criticizes team and the Patriot Way”. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this and it won’t be the last. With the “Do Your Job” mentality instilled by Coach Belichick, it’s bound to hurt some feelings and bruise a few egos. So when players get shipped out of town, they tend to puff out their chests and speak up. And keeping that decade plus tradition alive is repeat offender Cassius Marsh.

Not sure who Mr. Marsh is? I can’t blame you, so let me give some background. Since coming into the league, he’s been on seven (7) different teams in 8 seasons. Marsh started his career in Seattle where he played 3 years at defensive end tallying just 55 tackles and 3 sacks. Last season he was on the Colts, Jaguars and Steelers rosters at one point with little to no on-field impact. He’s currently with the Pittsburgh practice squad, on a one year deal. Marsh has tallied a total of 175 tackles and 14 sacks in his unremarkable career.

The former Seahawk/Patriot/49er/Cardinal/Colt/Jaguar was on Tom Segura’s podcast earlier this week and, you guessed it, had some spicy things to say about the Patriots once again.

“The Patriots Way is extremely impressive. They work day-in and day-out. Their work ethic over there they instill is pretty legendary. They also treat players like crap”

Let me pause right there for a second. The notion that players get poor treatment in New England is largely false. It’s a strange narrative that always seems to be coming from players who had a rocky breakup with the team. If guys were treated so poorly, I ask you this: Why do players like Matthew Slater, Julian Edelman, Devin McCourty, James White and countless others choose to stay? Also, why do players like David Andrews decide to take what’s viewed as a pay cut to remain on the team? And lastly, why do players like Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, Brandon Bolden and Trent Brown seem happy to return to the team once they’ve broken free of Belichick’s dictator-like regime? 

Those don’t strike me as actions taken by players who get treated poorly or know of any poor treatment. But I digress. You may be asking why Marsh feels this way. What do the Pats do that is so bad to their players?

“You don’t have a lunch period. You get there and you have to make time to eat in between meetings. And they are like 5-10 minute periods where I would literally go scoop food and put it in a cup and like crush it real quick before I got to the next meeting. There’s no fun.”

NO LUNCH TIME!? THE HORROR!! Bill Belichick deserves to be locked up and have the key thrown into the Charles River. Ban him from the NFL for this dastardly act. Does the BBB know about this inhumane working atmosphere going on in New England? (Please note my sarcasm)

There’s that  infamous “no fun” comment again. A statement made popular by Lane Johnson which has already been proven wrong by multiple current and past players saying they did indeed have fun during their time with New England. But again, I digress.

It seems like that same work ethic Marsh just praised is what he’s simultaneously criticizing here. By complaining about this, Marsh is essentially saying he simply does not have the work ethic needed to be on a championship team like the Patriots. And that’s fine to admit. But to say that signifies poor treatment by the organization seems misguided. Prioritizing team meetings over elongated lunch periods strikes me as a trait of a team who laser focuses on getting better. 

But as I said, Bill Belichick’s coaching style certainly isn’t for everyone. Brandin Cooks said it best earlier this year on WEEI Radio when he said this:

I think if it’s too hard for you, that must mean you don’t like to work hard. Now, you grind — don’t get me wrong — but there’s fun in that as well.” 

Yet another player saying he had fun in New England. Imagine that? Cooks comments sum up the Patriot Way perfectly: if you don’t like hard work, you won’t like it here. Simple as that. 

Marsh also brought up his past comments criticizing the Patriots and their way of coaching, and had this to say about some feedback he received:

“It’s funny, when I did that article a lot of the players like thanked me for making it public on how bad they treat guys. I mean, they win games so you just really can’t argue with championships.”

A lot to unpack here. Marsh is making it seem like Belichick is running a pseudo-sweatshop up in Foxboro. Again, if this was the case, why would players continue to choose to stay or come back to the team? And how do you explain the players who have had nothing but praise for the organization and Belichick himself? There’s a disconnect here somewhere. 

Also, who are all of these “players” supposedly thanking him for being so brave to speak out against the big, bad Patriots? I find it hard to believe that Marsh received dozens of texts from timid NFL players saying things like “Thanks for speaking out man, I could never do that. You’re so right!” 

The last part really made me chuckle. He’s right in saying the team wins championships. So maybe those 5-10 minute lunches are worth it when you see what the results are. 

But let’s take a quick look at just who these comments are coming from. During Marsh’s short tenure here, he rarely found playing time. In fact, it’s that sporadic usage that caused a reported outburst in the locker room during a game against the Raiders in Mexico City during the 2017 season. One that, reportedly, involved a Gatorade jug being thrown amidst the chaos. This tantrum over playing time was likely the final straw as he was let go just days later.

I’m not bringing that up as a way to just criticize Marsh. I just think it’s important to add some background to his history with the team. Like I said, players who succeed and win here very rarely have these types of things to say. It’s always the guys who don’t perform or do what’s asked of them on a day to day basis that spew this venom towards the Patriot Way.

Listen, at the end of the day this is a job. If you underachieve or refuse to fall in line, you don’t stick around. This is a harsh reality of the NFL. It just so happens that the Patriots are a little more business-like than other teams, so it rubs some players the wrong way. But maybe Marsh should focus on his own situation instead of continuously slamming the Patriots every chance he gets. Because at the end of the day, if you’ve been with 7 different teams in 8 season, maybe the problem is you.

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-Mike Sullivan (@msully5433)

(Featured Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com)

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