The New England Patriots achieved two decades of unprecedented greatness under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, thanks in large part to the duo’s instillation of “The Patriot Way.” While many former Patriots praise the rigid culture established in New England, not every player wanted to line up.
On a recent episode of the “I Am Athlete” podcast, Asante Samuel provided insight into the Patriots franchise at the height of their success. During his tenure with New England from 2003-07, the star cornerback argues that many of his teammates got way too invested in Belichick’s philosophy and mantra.
“Some of them will be brainwashed with this Patriot Way. I’m not going there for any of that. I don’t know what No Patriot Way is,” Samuel said via Mass Live. “All are company men, speaking Patriot Way.”
Samuel played out his four-year rookie contract before finally being franchised in his final year with New England. The Eagles swooped in and signed the corner from lockdown in 2008 for six years and around $57 million, a deal Samuel claims he never received from Belichick and the Patriots.
“I’m here to make money, take care of my family, the same way Belichick is here to take care of his family, get his money,” Samuel said. “So when you try to withhold my money and want all your money, I have no respect for you.”
Samuel’s respect goes to Brady, who he believes was the real reason for New England’s decade of dominance. With one of the league’s best signallers at the helm, the Patriots were free to make personal decisions that others couldn’t.
“We can make those decisions because we have Tom,” Samuel said. “It doesn’t matter what decisions you can make. Who’s next to bring in free agency? Can they pass the test? Bring them in and make sure they can make it to the fourth quarter. That’s all we need is someone, because we’ve got Tom, everything’s gonna work out.
Although Belichick’s methods and coaching manners weren’t for Samuel, the 41-year-old did praise his former coach. That is, if he passes one more test.
“I always give him credit, he can still be the greatest manager of all time,” Samuel said. “He just won another Super Bowl.”
New York Post