New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick deflected a question Thursday about the organization's approach in response to criticism from San Francisco 49ers defensive end Cassius Marsh about his lack of enjoyment during a three-month stint with the Pats last season.
Marsh told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle last week the Patriots "don't have fun there." As usual, Belichick refused to engage in a war of words and changed the focus to on-field performance.
"We feel what's important to us is to win," he told reporters. "So that's really what we're trying to do."
Marsh was traded to New England last September after three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He explained to Branch his time playing under Belichick pushed him to the brink.
"There's nothing fun about it," he said. "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."
The Patriots let him go in late November, and he was claimed off waivers by the Niners.
New England's longtime head coach, who's guided the franchise to five Super Bowl titles, was also asked Thursday about Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson saying, "You can have your rings. You can also have f--king 15 miserable years" in regard to playing for the Pats.
"Yeah, we're focused on what we're doing, trying to get better and taking each day we can to try to improve our football team," Belichick said. "Not really focused on what everybody else is doing."
Although players are taking shots at the Patriots, it'd be a shock if Belichick ever provided a more comprehensive response to the critiques. To borrow his trademark phrase, he's on to Washington, the team's first preseason opponent in August.