Patriots Talk Podcast

Are Patriots players not taking Bill Belichick as seriously?

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss on a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

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Do the New England Patriots have a discipline problem?

Second-year cornerback Jack Jones' arrest at Logan Airport is the latest example of Patriots players stepping out of line over the last year. Prior to that, Jones and former Pats punter Jake Bailey were suspended by the team at the end of 2022, and tackle Trent Brown showed up late and out of shape to mandatory minicamp.

On a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry wonder whether players aren't taking head coach Bill Belichick as seriously as they once did.

Patriots Talk: How should the Patriots proceed with Jack Jones? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"It feels to me as if the ironclad control that Bill Belichick has had over this team for so long is a little bit slipping," Curran said. "Between even last year with Jack Jones and Jake Bailey both having to be suspended because of differences over how they were supposed to practice, things they were supposed to do. With Trent Brown showing up in a state that didn't allow him to even participate (in mandatory minicamp) and showing up late at that. With Lawrence Guy holding out, with this situation now. It feels as if -- I wouldn't say that they're not taking Bill as seriously, but maybe that they're not taking Bill as seriously.

"I think maybe you're more afraid of losing your job or position on a team that's better and could do without you and still win than maybe if you think, 'Hey, what are they going to do? Fire me? They need me."

To Curran's point, Perry believes the Patriots may have been more willing to overlook players' off-the-field issues in recent years due to their dire need for talent, especially via the draft.

"My take the other night on Early Edition was similar but different," Perry said. "Working off the same theory that they need as much talent as they can get and that has impacted them in the draft. And this is a player that I think in the years between, say, 2014 and 2020, they wouldn't have had much interest in.

"I think there was a real period of time where post-(Aaron) Hernandez, they were looking for a certain type of individual. They wanted the Boy Scout, I think. So you do that, and you have a few dry drafts consecutively that have really hurt your team in terms of the on-the-field product. And by the time the 2022 draft comes around or 2021 -- there were a lot of people that didn't want to draft Christian Barmore. They drafted Christian Barmore in the second round. Would they have been willing to do that a few years earlier? I'm not saying he's got any kind of violent record or weapons or anything, but there's a certain kind of risk with Barmore that other teams weren't willing to take before the Patriots in that year's draft.

"The next year, in the fourth round, they take Jack Jones. Would they have taken Jack Jones coming off a burglary charge in 2014? I kind of doubt it. But they needed talent and they were willing to with that whole risk-reward thing, the risk assessment that's involved in every single draft. I think they felt like there's a talented player staring them in the face and they need as many talented draft picks as possible."

Also discussed in the episode: What's the next step for the Patriots after Jones' arrest? And how do current players feel about the situation? 

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube.

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