Coach Bill Belichick responded on Thursday by saying that his job is to make sure the team is winning, which linebacker Dont'a Hightower concurred with when he was asked about the fun level in New England.
“I mean, to each his own,” Hightower said in comments distributed by the team. “I don’t really have anything to say to them. I mean, guys here, I know — I mean, it’s not for everybody. 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. But, I mean, in the locker room, it’s not Bill’s job to make this fun and this atmosphere fun; it’s the guys around it. 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.”
Hightower added that making the sacrifices necessary to play for the Patriots “sucks sometimes,” but that looking back at personal and team success leads to a realization that “it was actually worth it.”
The amount of fun one has with the Patriots will vary from person to person. It’s impossible to argue with the success of the team’s approach when it comes to on-field matters, however, and those that prioritize that side of things above all else are likely to share Hightower’s feeling about life in New England.