Marshall Newhouse was thrown in at the deep end: the New England Patriots signed him on September 11 as a free agent, and just four days later he started the team’s Week 2 contest against the Miami Dolphins — the first of nine starts for the veteran offensive tackle. Over the 17 weeks that followed, Newhouse did not only see considerable playing time as the Patriots’ third tackle but also got a first-glimpse look into the NFL’s premier franchise.
Earlier this week, the impending unrestricted free agent spoke about just those experiences of playing with the Patriots when he visited SB Nation on Radio Row down at the Super Bowl in Miami. The 31-year-old talked with hosts R.J. Ochoa and Jeanna Thomas, who asked him on behalf of the Pats Pulpit Podcast Network, about the meaning of the so-called “Patriot Way” and how it impacts those walking into the locker room at Gillette Stadium.
Safe to say that Newhouse offered his own unique interpretation of the term.
“No one inside of New England declared it the ‘Patriot Way,’ first of all,” he said. “It was someone outside of the organization and, secondly, I think if you were to kind of distill it down to what that even means, it’s just like accountability. Literally, it’s like if you’re not a knucklehead for the most part, be a hard worker, be accountable and do the ‘do your job’- thing — do what you’re supposed to do — and it’s really not a bad place to be.”
“You win a lot, you learn a lot about football,” Newhouse continued. “Guys are close but you still have a good time. That was the part that I think the perceptions from the outside is that it’s completely tight and guys don’t get we have a good time. I mean, it’s — we work really hard and it’s demanding but we still have a good time. There’s a lot of different personalities in that locker room but they all sacrifice a little bit for the greater cause of the team.”
Newhouse touched on a topic misconception about the Patriots’ approach to football in his answer, the element of New England being a no-fun place to work that was first brought up by Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson back in 2018. While there is some truth to this point of view considering that the team operates on a business-first model that does not suit every player — think: Cassius Marsh — Newhouse shows that fun certainly is a part of the Patriots’ modus operandi.
The personalities the 31-year-old mentioned are certainly a part of this as well, with his experiences being naturally built around the offensive line room.
“Isaiah [Wynn] is still a young guy but he’s got plenty of personality, plenty of confidence about him. He’s going to be one of the better tackles and he’s going to get better and better as the years go on,” he said. “And then you’ve got older vets like Marcus Cannon, and [David] Andrews in the middle and Shaq [Mason], the guys who are I think are quieter in nature but who come to work and come to play and still we joke and we have a good time.”
“Linemen, I think, universally have a really good time together and with other people, so you’ve got guys like that, you’ve got guys like Dont’a Hightower who has been there a long time who I think is one of the most undervalued defensive players in the league,” added Newhouse when speaking about the locker room chemistry in New England. “And, you know, you’ve got the defensive back Stephon [Gilmore] who’s very quiet but his confidence is through the roof, I mean, for a good reason.”
“There’s so many elements of guys and personalities that, like I said, sacrifice a little bit for the greater cause and I think they’ve been a traditionally good team this year. We’re still a good team,” he added before essentially distilling the so-called “Patriot Way” down to one key phrase: “You don’t get all that success from just having people who don’t buy in, who aren’t good players and aren’t good people.”