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Cassius Marsh’s latest statements again prove that the Patriot Way is not for everybody

Related: Devin McCourty: Veteran departures have ‘created a different atmosphere’ in New England

New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

Former New England Patriots defensive edge Cassius Marsh made headlines in 2018 when he admitted that he was actively trying to get himself off the squad midway through the 2017 season.

Marsh, who had been acquired by the Patriots via trade just three months before ultimately getting released in early November, was unhappy in the team’s environment and grew increasingly frustrated about his usage on defense. At one point, he launched a Gatorade jug across the room during a halftime tirade because he felt that the Patriots did not give him enough playing time.

Two days later he got his wish and was cut.

Appearing on the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast earlier this week, Marsh again talked about his time in New England. Needless to say, his opinion of the club has not changed for the better.

“The Patriot Way is extremely impressive. They work day in and day out. Their work ethic over there, what they instill, is pretty legendary. But they also treat players like crap,” Marsh said.

“You don’t have like... You don’t have a lunch, period. You get there and you have to make time to eat in between meetings. And they’re like 5-10 minute periods where I would literally go scoop food and put it in a cup and just crush it real quick before I got to the next meeting. It’s just like there’s no B.S. There’s no fun.”

The Patriots treating their players “like crap” is a serious accusation, while Marsh is also not the first player to claim that the team is not having any fun. However, it seems as if it is all a matter of perspective.

Take offensive tackle Trent Brown, who was with the Patriots in 2018 before a two-year stint with the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders. He restructured his contract in order to get traded back to New England earlier this offseason, and later spoke highly about the organization and his experience within it.

“When I became a Patriot — I’ve always loved football, but I think I began to appreciate what it takes: the actual time and effort and sacrifices you have to make. And, really, it was fun to me,” he said. “Some people don’t like it, but I loved it, honestly. I just think that it’s where I need to be. I’m happy. I’m happy with the organization. I was happiest when I was there. I’ve never had more fun playing football in my life.”

Granted, Brown is in a different situation — unlike Marsh he is currently receiving pay checks from the Patriots — but his answer still seemed genuine. It also touches on one key part of this whole discussion: the so-called Patriot Way is like every other experience in life, some like it and others do not.

Dont’a Hightower, who has spent the entirety of his nine-year career so far in New England, touched on just that back in 2018.

“I mean, it’s not for everybody,” the long-time team captain pointed out. “It’s definitely harder than most places, but I mean, that’s part of it. A lot of guys know that when they come here. But in the locker room, it’s not Bill’s job to make this fun and this atmosphere fun; it’s the guys around it.”

Marsh, on the other hand, feels as if he has an explanation for statements like the ones made by players such as Brown, Hightower, or running backs coach Ivan Fears.

“Over there, nobody says anything publicly, because they’ve won so many championships,” he said. “You don’t want to upset the fan base, because after you win a Super Bowl, you can get paid for signings in New England for the rest of your life, because you’re a Super Bowl champ. So, it was funny when I did that article, a lot of the players thanked me for making it public on how bad they treat guys.”

It is not known who these supposed players were, but the fact remains that Marsh is one of only a few players to leave New England and later speak negatively about their experience with the team. In his case it was a combination of culture and role.

Asante Samuel shared similar thoughts in the past. The Indianapolis Colts’ Kenny Moore struggled with the pressure of meeting expectations. Danny Amendola was displeased with the business side of things (although his tenure with the club was much more successful than Moore’s or Marsh’s).

Regardless the reasons, they all are in different boats than other players to leave the Bill Belichick-led Patriots through the years. That does not necessarily put the team in a unique position in the NFL, though: players routinely criticize former organizations after their departures. Each organization is run differently, after all, and not all styles of coaching or management are suited for every individual player.

As for Marsh, it appears as if he has yet to find the perfect situation. After leaving the Patriots, he spent time with the San Francisco 49ers (2017-18), Seattle Seahawks (2019), Arizona Cardinals (2019), Jacksonville Jaguars (2020) and Indianapolis Colts (2020), and is currently under contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.