While much has been made about Rob Gronkowski and how he didn’t find football fun anymore, there’s another former New England Patriot and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer who may feel the same way.
Much has been made about “The Patriot Way” and how taxing it is on players, even though the results speak for themselves. Six Super Bowls over the last 20 years with nine appearances and consistent trips to the AFC Championship game. There have been rumblings that it may not be all its cracked up to be.
Not All Fun And Games
You’ve seen rival players such as Philadelphia Eagles Lane Johnson say things like,
“I just think that The Patriot Way is a fear-based organization. Obviously, do they win? Hell yes, they win. They’ve won for a long time. Do I think people enjoy and can say, ‘I had a lot of fun playing there’? No, I don’t.”
Even Gronkowski agrees,
“They’re 9-1. They win a game against Philly. We lost to them two years ago in the Super Bowl. They should be happy. Instead, you’re sitting there Sunday night like, ‘What did I do wrong?’ No, that’s not the feeling you should have. You should be pumped about the win. Yeah you might not have put up the big offensive numbers that you put up but you won the game. Enjoy it, go out the next week and build off of it.”
The Typical Responses
That statement is often met in response with quotes like these from Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
“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. Every guy in that locker room, I love like a brother. We have fun, whether it’s out here struggling together, blood, sweat, and tears, or we’re back in the locker room or we’re hanging out outside of football. So there’s a time and place for everything, but we know whenever we walk through the building, it’s time to work.”
And Patriots Safety Devin McCourty,
“I think if you ask any guy on this team, the fun we have comes hanging with each other. The relationships between the guys. A lot of our fun happens right in the locker room before we even come out here and have fun winning football games. Obviously, we work for a living. In this business, you have to win. When you lose, it’s not fun. People get fired. You lose your job. That’s not fun. I wouldn’t believe anyone who told me, if they lost half their games, that they were having the best time of their life. I’m just not here for that.”
Tom Tows The Line
While Brady has never agreed or disagreed with those statements he has given his own perspective on the rumors, saying;
“I think there’s a lot of emotions that I feel, both positive and things that can be critical after a game. I’ve been playing football for 20 years, and there’s a lot of different emotions over the course of a season. There’s a lot of joy in winning, there’s a lot of frustration in a football season. There’s disappointment, there’s elation, there’s perspective and gratitude and appreciation. I think all those things balance each other out. You’re not going to go through five blissful months of emotions during football season. It’s going to be challenging at times, and there’s going to be moments where you have to dig deep and find your mental toughness and everyone has different experiences and deals with them in different ways.”
Brady Breaks Ranks
However, recently in a Video Chat with GQ Sports, Brady’s throwing coach Tom House was quoted saying,
“I think the most fun texts we’ve had is when Gronk signed. Tom texted me and said, ‘Football’s fun again.’”
The Lighter Side Of Brady
Since Brady came to Tampa Bay we’ve already seen a different, lighter side to him. Bruce Arians is notably one of the most relaxed coaches in the game. With the offensive fire power this team possess, you have to think we’ll see Brady having fun again, and that should be a scary thought for the rest of the NFL!