For years, the New England Patriots have been lauded as the model NFL franchise. They've won more consistently than any team in the league over the last 15-plus years, and they have arguably the greatest coach and quarterback of all time going to battle for them every week. But they've also become famous for their great culture, where everybody in the locker room makes sacrifices for the sake of the team and the only three words that matter are "do your job."
There have been some cracks in the armor showing for the Pats over the last year or so, though, with rumors of infighting and rocky relationships between Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, and Rob Gronkowski. And according to one ex-Patriot, being on that team is not all it's cracked up to be.
Defensive end Cassius Marsh was traded from the Seahawks to the Patriots prior to last season. The 25-year old played in nine games, recording 16 tackles and one sack before being let go. He eventually caught on with the 49ers at the end of the year. And to hear him tell it, his experience in New England was ... not great.
"They don't have fun there," Marsh said of the Patriots, per the San Francisco Chronicle. "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."
Marsh says his release from the Pats was something he asked for himself, for reasons that seem pretty vague. "I confronted (Patriots coach Bill Belichick) about all the things that were going on," Marsh said. "I won't get into detail, but it was B.S. things they were doing. I just wasn't a fan. And so I, basically, without asking to get cut, I kind of asked to get cut. … I had confidence that I would have an opportunity elsewhere and I would take advantage of it."
Marsh didn't say much about what bothered him about the coaching other than the fact that he was asked to play more in coverage as opposed to rushing the passer, which he considers his best skill. And he's not necessarily the first player to come away from a stint in New England with a sour taste in his mouth. He's just being very open about it, which is somewhat new.