Bill Belichick has a history of luring highly-regarded free agents to New England, but he has really outdone himself this year. After luring two pass rushing stars in Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins , the Patriots signed yet another big name in DE Cassius Marsh .
Any small-market NFL team could use an edge rusher. The Patriots, however, have one of the best—former Pro Bowler Cassius Marsh. The former Carolina Panthers pass rusher joined the Patriots after agreeing to a three-year, $18 million contract with the team in August. After a slow start to his Patriots career, Marsh has had an impressive second half, and now he is looking forward to the playoffs.It’s been nearly four years since Cassius Marsh wore a New England Patriots uniform and he’s still letting people know how much he hated playing for Bill Belichick & Co. According to Marsh, who’s ripped the six-time Super Bowl champs before, the team treats its players “like crap” and that Belichick’s daily meetings are “no fun” whatsoever, sarcastically calling them “super exciting.”
Cassius Marsh during a New England Patriots-Atlanta Falcons matchup in October 2017 | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Taken in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft out of UCLA, Marsh played the first three seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, who then traded him to the Patriots ahead of the 2017 season in exchange for New England’s fifth- and seventh-round picks in 2018.
He appeared in nine games for the Pats that season, starting just one of them, and made 19 tackles (16 solo) with one sack and one forced fumble. But on November 21, he was abruptly released, reportedly due to a locker room tirade over playing time. Marsh was quickly picked up by the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he spent the next season and a half, and has since played with the Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, and his current team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Just over six months after being released by New England, Marsh gave an interview in which he detailed the reasons he hated playing for Belichick and the Patriots, saying he was asked to do things he’d never done, such as covering receivers and running backs as he was used more as an outside linebacker than a defensive lineman.
Frustrated that he was “almost never rushing the passer,” which is what he was used to doing during his time with Pete Carroll and the Seahawks, Marsh said he actually confronted Belichick on the matter and believes that’s the reason he was cut.
He said he “just wasn’t a fan” of the “Patriot Way” and that playing in New England even made him contemplate retirement (h/t NFL.com).
“It made me for the first time in my life think about not playing football because I hated it that much.”
Cassius Marsh on playing for the New England Patriots
He’s made a few more comments on the Patriots in the years since and was back at it earlier this week.
This past Monday, Marsh appeared on the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast with comedian Tom Segura and again sounded off on his time with the Patriots, although this time he did at least say that the “Patriot Way” was “extremely impressive.” But he also said that the Patriots “treat players like crap” and his biggest gripe seemed to be about lunch breaks.
“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 five-to-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.”
Marsh went on to say that he knows he’s not the only person to have hated his time in New England and claims that plenty of Patriots players reached out to him after his 2018 interview and thanked him for saying what he said because they couldn’t. He says that remaining on Belichick’s good side is crucial for any New England player because “if you piss off Bill, you’re done.”
And while he did credit Belichick for being an “extremely intelligent coach,” Marsh certainly wasn’t a fan of his daily meetings, sarcastically calling them “super exciting.”
“So he walks in there and then he comes up to like a podium and he addresses the team for like 45 minutes to an hour every morning. He talks about the GM’s history, talks about the team’s history, talks about defensive, offensive coordinator’s history, the way that they used to run their defense, the way that they run their defense now, the history of all of the coaches.”
Cassius Marsh on Bill Belichick
Marsh says he’s probably one of the “most hated former Patriots” because of the things he’s said about the team in the past. But one has to wonder if New England fans really even care what a guy who’s been on seven teams in seven years has to say given the fact that Belichick and his “super exciting” meetings have helped the Pats to six Super Bowl titles. Our guess is probably not.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference
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