The hatred of misery loves company. Or something.
Joining Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson in his public bashing of the Patriot Way is Eagles offensive lineman Brandon Brooks, who never actually played for the Patriots but believes he got a full taste of it while playing for Bill Belichick protege Bill O’Brien in Houston.
Via BleedingGreenNation.com, Brooks sounded off after practice on Tuesday.
“It’s crazy that people haven’t known this,” Brooks said. “It’s been this way for like a decade. . . . Reggie Wayne did it. He retired. He went there [to the Patriots] for a training camp and retired. Sh-t is not fun there. I was under the same regime in Houston [with O’Brien]. I almost retired. Sh-t was miserable, every day. Every day.
“I came in [as a rookie] under [Gary] Kubiak, who was just an older version of Doug [Pederson], then I went to O’Brien, who was Belichick, and then I came back to Doug, who’s like Kubes, so for me, man, sh-t was great. Like, I cannot tell you how much better this is than it was down there. Like, it’s just night and day. What does [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] say? Happy workers make more productive workers. When you’re not having fun, man, those grinding, those hard-ass nosed days. . . .”
At that point, Johnson intervened, echoing his repeated criticism of the Eagles.
“All the media wants to talk about is rings,” Johnson said. “Rings. I’m going to get this ring and never wear it one day. I’m going to put it away in a box. The only thing you’re going to remember from your playing days, you’re not going to remember the scores. You’re going to remember the people you played with and how you felt. And that’s the truth.
“All these guys talking about ‘I’ll take the rings.’ OK. You can have your rings. You can also have f–king 15 miserable years.”
Making the increasing external attacks on the Patriot Way more intriguing is the fact that, internally, all seems far from hunky and/or dory. Quarterback Tom Brady remains absent from offseason workouts, possibly because after 18 years with Belichick, Brady just can’t take it any more.
And it probably is much easier to deal with doom and gloom when the effort and the stress and the stifling of individuality results in a ring. To see a team that truly has fun take the championship from the Patriots has to raise questions from within, especially when the biggest question regarding Super Bowl LII — the failure of Belichick to use cornerback Malcolm Butler in an effort to outscore the Eagles — still hasn’t been answered.