The New England Patriots achieved two decades of unprecedented greatness under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, in large part due to the duo’s instillment of “The Patriot Way.” While many former Patriots praise the rigid culture established in New England, not all players wanted to fall in line.
On a recent episode of the “I Am Athlete” podcast, Asante Samuel provided an inside look into the Patriots franchise at the height of their success. During his tenure with New England from 2003 to 2007, the star cornerback argues many of his teammates became far too invested in Belichick’s philosophy and mantra.
“Some of them be brainwashed with that Patriot Way. I ain’t going for none of that. I don’t know what no Patriot Way is,” Samuel said via Mass Live. “All of them is company men, talking about Patriot Way.”
Samuel played through his four-year rookie contract before ultimately being franchised tagged in his final year with New England. The Eagles swooped in and signed the lockdown corner in 2008 to the tune of six years and around $57 million, a contract Samuel argues he never would’ve received from Belichick and the Patriots.
“I’m here to get 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 hold my money back and you want all your money, I ain’t got no respect for you.”
Samuel’s respect goes to Brady, who he argued was the real reason behind New England’s decade of dominance. With one of the league’s best signal-callers at the helm, the Patriots were free to enact personnel decisions that others couldn’t.
“We can make these decisions because we’ve got Tom,” Samuel said. “It don’t matter what decisions you can make. Who’s next up to bring in from 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 somebody, because we got Tom, everything is going to work.”
Although Belichick’s methods and his ways of coaching were not for Samuel, the 41-year-old did give his former coach due praise. That is, if he passes one more test.
“I still give him credit, he can still be the greatest coach of all time,” Samuel said. “He just got to win another Super Bowl.”