Cassius Marsh Rips Bill Belichick, Patriots, Says They 'Treat Players Like Crap'July 13, 2021
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cassius Marsh doesn't look back on his brief time with the New England Patriots very fondly.
Marsh recalled his 2017 New England run during an appearance on Tom Segura's Your Mom's House podcast (via Ryan Hannable of WEEI):
"The Patriot Way is extremely impressive. They work day-in and day-out. Their work ethic over there [that] they instill is pretty legendary. They also treat players like crap. 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. There’s no — well, that is what I got in trouble for, for saying they don’t have fun."
He went on to say that some current and former Patriots players might be hesitant to publicly criticize the organization because of its on-field success. They wouldn't want to burn a bridge with the team and by extension the fanbase.
Marsh was a member of the Patriots for nine games in 2017, splitting his time that year with the San Francisco 49ers. He previously said in 2018 that he "didn’t enjoy any of my time" in New England and that things were so bad he briefly contemplating whether he wanted to keep playing.
One can point to the franchise's six Super Bowl titles as all the evidence needed to prove "The Patriot Way" works.
And to some extent, a lack of sentiment is required in order to maintain a dynasty in a salary-capped league. You eventually have to shuffle out the tenured veterans for more cost-effective replacements. Sometimes, fan favorites have to go too if an upgrade is available elsewhere.
Bill Belichick wouldn't even let emotion get in the way when it came to Tom Brady. Their relationship became strained toward the end of Brady's time in New England, and the team didn't exactly go above and beyond to re-sign him when he became a free agent in 2020.
Even if being a member of the Patriots isn't a lot of "fun," plenty of players will probably continue going there because of their track record.
"I enjoy this culture," Hunter Henry told reporters in June after having signed a three-year, $37.5 million contract. "... It's just such a winning culture. There's a tradition here. There's a high level of expectation. So, I think a lot of us, including myself, are very excited about trying to elevate ourselves to meet those expectations and this culture."