For any player that came over from another team, before coming to the Patriots, what were your impressions of the team and the players on the Patriots? Now that you are on the Patriots, what is the most surprising thing about this team? If you could explain the Patriots to other players around the league who haven’t been a part of this organization, how would you describe it?
Did the Patriots explain their philosophy and/or expectations for you either before signing you or after acquiring you through a trade, and was there any thing about this that was clearly different from how other teams communicated with you?
The New England Patriots have 17 players on their roster that are finishing their first season with the team and that have spent time in the NFL with a different franchise. Pulpiteer pappymojo wanted to know how these players perceived the Patriots prior to joining the team and how reality aligned with the perception now that they have a year in the system.
So I spoke with a handful of the new players to get their thoughts on what they expected and whether anything surprised them in their first year with the team.
DL Lawrence Guy
“I knew they were a hard-working team and when I got here it was exactly what I thought it was going to be. That was my belief and my assessment. They work hard on everything they needed to do and it was true.”
TE Dwayne Allen
“It has exceeded my expectations, but not by much. I knew that I was going to be coached very well and very hard, I guess the extent of how hard the coaching is where it exceeded my expectations. But it’s been wonderful to come to work and fall in love with getting better with my craft and having individual teammates around me that are like-minded that only care about getting better and winning football games. I think it’s an amazing culture and one of the best cultures in all of sports.”
“They do a great job of coaching football. Whenever you hear coach talk about in practice we need to get back to the basics, get better at our technique, he really does mean the basics, technique, catching the ball, footwork and blocking, pad level. The basics and techniques. So it’s been really cool to pull back the layers of scar tissue, if you will, that has appeared over the years and to refine my raw game.”
“One of my favorite things that we do is the way that everyone congratulates everyone. Whether it’s the players, support staff, assistant coaches, coaches, quality control, everyone, equipment managers, trainers, it really brings home that it takes everyone in order for us to be successful and everyone has a part in it, no matter how small or big.”
“It starts at the top and that’s Mr. Kraft.”
LB Marquis Flowers
“Obviously I knew they were a tough team, I knew they worked hard, but I didn’t know they worked that hard. We work real hard, extremely hard. We work hard, it’s a full week, every week is a new week. We prepare for every team’s best and we just go out there and play together.”
LB Nicholas Grigsby
“I expected nothing less than work.”
DB Johnson Bademosi
“I mean, everybody hates the Patriots. Don’t they? I think that’s the case for other teams around the league, like why do all the other teams hate the Patriots? Because they win so much. It seems like a lot of things go their way, or they get a lot of calls, or they bend or break the rules, and there’s always a ‘-gate’ going on and I think that’s how people see things when you’re not in the building and not a part of the team.
“When you get here, you realize we just work harder than everybody else. I mean, everybody’s working hard, but we work hard. We work really hard. And I haven’t been on 32 teams, I’ve been on three, and we work hard. And everybody’s committed and focused on the team and we have a very, very, very talented roster. A lot of depth on the roster.
“There’s a lot of guys that play here that could be somewhere else and probably have a bigger role or be making more money and I think that’s the case across the board. It seems like everybody that plays for the Patriots is overworked, underpaid, and has a Super Bowl ring.”
“I would love to stay here, I would love to be a Patriot, I’ve had a fantastic experience with this team, there’s a lot of great guys on this team. I would love to stay here.”
I also asked a few players the second part of pappymojo’s question about whether the team relayed any of their own expectations to the players prior to signing, but I quickly stopped asking after the first few responses.
“That’s a question for coach,” Guy said.
“I never thought about it,” Grigsby said.
No one had anything to say.