Patriots players have a knack for smiling and saying not much of anything when the time comes to talk to the media. So does this Stepford Patriots dynamic happen organically, or is it taught?
Former NFL defensive lineman Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton, who spent much of the 2016 offseason and preseason in New England, shed some light on the dynamic during a Monday in-studio visit to PFT Live.
“You get coached up every day on how to talk to the media,” Knighton said. “One time, I did an interview and I gave a guy credit. I thought I was doing the right thing by digging up my teammate and saying he was going to have a great year. We got in a team meeting and [Bill Belichick] called me out, basically said to me, ‘You’re not an expert, you’re not a D-line expert, we don’t need you evaluating guys.’
“There’s a certain way they do things and it works. It’s obvious by their success. Most of the guys that stick around there are all on the same page and they just have one way of doing things. They’ve been doing that since he’s been there.”
It’s a prime example of the “Do Your Job” mentality, which along with urging each player and coach to take care of what he’s supposed to do includes a directive to take care only of what each person is supposed to do. It’s no player’s job to assess publicly (or privately) the performance of any other player; if/when any of them do, they’re going to hear about it from the boss.