One of the biggest busts for the Patriots in 2018 was defensive end Cassius Marsh, whom the team traded a fifth and a seventh-round pick to the Seahawks for prior to the 2017 season. He was released in November after subpar production and performance. Later Marsh would sign with the 49ers, receiving a two year, $7.7 million contract in the offseason. Just this past week he did an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle where he complained about his time in New England.
In the interview, Marsh ranted about how it isn’t fun to play in New England, and that he didn’t enjoy football for the first time in his life. He also remarked on the way they used him, complaining that he was used as a coverage linebacker and edge setter instead of a pass rusher.
Marsh is certainly entitled to his opinion, and it would be ignorant for anyone to claim that his feelings are wrong; not every player is a perfect fit for every system and organization, and Marsh clearly feels more comfortable in San Francisco’s organization. However, there has been a string of claims like this throughout the offseason, such as that of Lane Johnson of the Eagles, which was an extremely odd claim considering he has never played in New England and has no idea what it’s like to be on the inside of the franchise (he also claimed that Bill Belichick talked smack to Eagles coach Doug Pederson before the game, which was a flat-out lie debunked by clear video evidence, so Johnson’s credibility is already lacking).
The Patriots have certainly shown themselves to be a much stricter and less flamboyant organization than others. This, in and of itself, does not make it better or worse than any other team in the league. If Marsh or any other player (who has played in Foxboro) did not find their time enjoyable, it is understandable as everyone’s playing styles and preferences are different. However, to claim that the team doesn’t have fun and is unhappy is absurd and betrays the mountain of evidence from players who have loved their time in New England.
Maybe Marsh was unhappy with the fact that he was asked to play a different defensive role than he was used to. If that is the case, it would seem fair to remind him that if he is actually an above average player in this league then he should be able to perform more than just one role on the field. It would seem silly to have a linebacker on your team that is mildly adept at rushing the passer but utterly useless in coverage and shockingly terrible at setting the edge of the line. It’s certainly possible that Marsh didn’t enjoy his time in New England simply because he played horrendously in his two months on the team.
Marsh is entitled to his opinion. Just as Patriots fans are entitled to theirs. He did not enjoy his time in Foxboro and that’s okay. Just like it’s okay that hundreds of players have enjoyed their time winning meaningful games in New England for 18 years.
Until next time – B$