The New England Patriots choose winning over playing nice.
The New England Patriots have used recent critiques of their organization as a means to consolidate their power as a whole. Early in the week, former team member Cassius Marsh lament his months of turmoil under the misplaced management of Bill Belichick and his staff. Marsh commented that he was happy to have signed with a team (49ers) that deployed him in his natural position, or at least tried to manage expectations more personably.
Even in triumph, many Philadelphia Eagles' players still speak of The Patriot's supposed arrogance. Eagles lineman Lane Johnson respects what they've accomplished historically, but questions their need to push their exceptional value system on the rest of the league. It's quite telling that even after winning the Super Bowl, Eagles players haven't lost sight of the decisive hostility which willed them to victory in the first place.
During a workout session several Patriot's players addressed the issue of their purported arrogance. Team captain Devin McCourty fielded an argument based around members of the 0-16 Cleveland Browns' joining the Pats and responding positively to the cultural change.
"But I think if you ask any guys on this team, the fun we have comes from hanging with each other, the relationships between the guys. A lot of our fun happens right in the locker room even before we come out here and have fun winning football games. Obviously, we work for a living, so in this business, you have to win. When you lose, that's not fun. People get fired. That's not fun."
Dont'a Hightower that the team's winning mentality was demanding at times, but the balance of life is creating out of bounds in their private lives. Hightower admits that Bill Belichick's Patriot's regime is "definitely harder than most places" and "not for everybody." All the more reason to make psychological testing, and compatibility a precursor to the recruitment process. Even in a sport predominated by A-Type personalities, some individuals fall through the cracks unbeknownst to the real rigors posed by "the boys club."