Former New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel isn’t too fond of Bill Belichick or “The Patriot Way.” Samuel and the team didn’t end on the best of terms following the team’s surprising upset loss to the Giants in Super Bowl 42, ending the hopes of a perfect 19-0 season.
Samuel is often called out for the dropped interception right before Eli Manning’s hail Mary pass to David Tyree and his infamous helmet catch. But Samuel was a standout defensive back in New England, and that one play shouldn’t define him even though it was on the game’s biggest stage.
During a recent appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast, Samuel, a known ballhawk, talked about a myriad of topics, and one happened to be his tenure in New England under Bill Belichick. And what he believed to be personal disdain from Belichick towards him.
“Some of them be brainwashed with that Patriot Way. I ain’t going for none of that. I don’t know what the Patriot Way is.”
"The Patriots were a dynasty because of Tom Brady." pic.twitter.com/xOd0VkrpOb
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) July 18, 2022
The Patriot Way is conducting business from the front office, to the field, that has been the recipe for the franchise’s success over the last 20-plus seasons. Belichick runs his team with an iron fist, sort of like a dictator. And it’s either you buy in to that way of discipline, accountability, etc., or you’re out.
Obviously Samuel wasn’t one for that style of leadership for the long haul, and that played a role in him leaving for Philly after the Super Bowl loss.
Samuel Alluded To Belichick Making Money While Keeping Players From Doing The Same
It’s no secret that Belichick is one of the highest-paid head coaches in the league, a distinction he’s earned based on his unbelievable and unmatched success. But Samuel mentioned that while he’s being paid handsomely, he makes sure to keep players’ big paydays to a minimum. The outspoken Samuel also called out those players who were OK with that style of leadership as well.
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) July 18, 2022
“All of them is company men, talking about Patriot Way. I don’t know none of that. I’m here to get money, take care of my family, the same way Belichick is here to take care of his family, get his money. So when you try to hold my money back and you want all your money, I ain’t got no respect for you.”
Samuel continued to rip his former team.
“We can make these decisions because we’ve got Tom. It don’t matter what decisions you can make. Who’s next up to bring in from free agency? Can they pass the test? Bring them in and make sure they can make it to the fourth quarter. That’s all we need is somebody, because we’ve got Tom, everything is gonna work. I saw it with my own eyes. I’m not joking this is the truth.”
— Walter White (@prettyrecklesxo) July 18, 2022
Samuel’s comments stem back to 2006-07 when Belichick refused to give him a long-term deal following an NFL-leading 10-interception season. Instead the team placed their franchise tag on him for that season and let him walk at season’s end. Samuel signed the most lucrative deal of his career with the Eagles that offseason, six-years, $57 million. Basically the life-changing money he was hoping to see in New England. He’s saying they didn’t believe they had to pay anyone because Tom Brady covered up glaring holes in other areas. He’s correct in many ways, as the Patriots spent the most money in free agency they’ve spent in years when Brady left for Tampa. A coincidence? Seems that way for sure.
Samuel Says Brady Over Belichick On Level Of Importance
There’s been much debate about which GOAT was more important to the Patriots dynasty that secured seven Super Bowl wins under the Killer B’s. When Brady won the Super Bowl in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it caused most to say Brady was more important than Belichick. And based on Samuel’s remarks he agrees with that sentiment. While he still considers Belichick one of the greatest coaches ever, the Tom Brady factor played the biggest role in his and the team’s success.