I can’t remember an athlete publicly hating their coach the way that Asante Samuel hates Bill Belichick. Samuel appeared on the I Am Athlete podcast this week with former Eagles teammate LeSean McCoy. I think it’s fair to say Samuel still holds a grudge against the NFL’s greatest coach.
Samuel’s Patriots Tenure
Samuel was drafted by the Patriots by the Patriots in the 4th round of the 2003 draft. He was a member of the Patriots Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX championship teams. Samuel started against the Eagles in his second Super Bowl, replacing the injured Ty Law. Samuel would later tie for the NFL lead in interceptions (10) in 2006, which was the last year of his rookie contract. After a training camp holdout, Samuel played the 2007 season under the franchise tag. This began the tensions between Belichick and Samuel. Samuels started again for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. His dropped interception with a minute to go in the 4th quarter gave life to the Giants, who rallied to upset the Pats 17-14. Following the Patriots loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, Samuel signed a 6 year, $56 million contract with the Eagles.
Samuel on “The Patriot Way”
“The Patriot Way” has been the mantra in New England since the early days of the dynasty. Players arrive to the Patriots and buy into the their specific roles for the betterment of the team. While “The Patriot Way” stood the test of time throughout the teams’ nearly two decades of dominance, not all players that have come through New England bought in. It seems to fair to say Samuel was one of them:
“Some of them be brainwashed with that Patriot Way. I ain’t going for none of that. I don’t know what no Patriot Way is,” “All of them is company men, talking about Patriot Way,” Samuel said. “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 on “Bill vs. Tom”
Like many members of the Patriots dynasty, Samuel weighed in on the “Bill vs. Tom” debate that has plagued all of New England since Brady’s departure from the franchise in 2020. Former Patriots receiver Danny Amendola has publicly come out in support of Brady following his tenure in New England. Judging by Samuel’s comment, Amendola is not the only one on “Team Tom.”
“All of this (creative) stuff is working because of Tom!” Samuel said. “But that ain’t how we won … It’s one X-factor—it’s Tom. This is the truth … It’s because of Tom because guess what? Tom goes [somewhere else] and just wins a Super Bowl. That’s not a credit right there to him? With COVID, no practice—‘I go and win a Super Bowl!’”
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