New Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort was introduced to the media on Tuesday, and his first press conference also saw him shout out his former team. The 44-year-old used the opportunity to sing the New England Patriots’ praises.
Despite having left the Patriots in 2020, first to join the Tennessee Titans and now the Cardinals, his time with the organization left a lasting impression on him.
“To the people in the Patriots organization — Mr. Kraft, Jonathan, Dan Kraft, and the rest of the Kraft family. That was a first-hand look at what it means to be a first-class organization,” Ossenfort said. “The success we had there — four Super Bowl wins, made it to three others, countless number of division titles — was an experience that really has shaped the foundation of who I am.”
After starting his NFL career as an intern with the Houston Texans in 2002, Ossenfort joined the Patriots as a personnel assistant the following season. The Minnesota-Morris product returned to Houston in 2004 before again moving to New England as an area scout in 2006.
Over the years that followed, Ossenfort steadily climbed up the organizational ladder. He worked three seasons as a national scout followed by three more seasons as the assistant director of college scouting. In 2014, he succeeded Jon Robinson as the Patriots’ director of college scouting — a role he held for six seasons.
He left for Tennessee in 2020 to reunite with Robinson and fellow ex-Patriot Mike Vrabel, before accepting the Cardinals’ GM position earlier this week.
One day after the news was announced by the club, Ossenfort took the podium to talk about his plans and expectations. He also spoke about his upbringing as a football executive — one that was heavily influenced by Patriots head coach and de facto general manager Bill Belichick.
“Every day going to work was a masterclass of how to build a football roster and how to build a winning organization,” Ossenfort said on Tuesday, directly addressing Belichick. “There are core beliefs that I believe that I will take from there — as I will take from every step along the way — that I plan to bring here and put my own spin on it, and make it the ‘Cardinal Way.’”
Whether or not he will truly do that will be seen. There is no denying, however, that Ossenfort will be the latest to try to duplicate what the Patriots accomplished following Belichick’s arrival in 2000.