So what exactly is ‘The Patriot Way?’ When the New England Patriots were winning six Super Bowls in 20 years, ‘The Patriot Way’ was talked about as often as quarterback Tom Brady threw touchdown passes. What exactly does it mean? Cam Newton summed it up in two words during a roundtable discussion with three former players Monday.
Cam Newton had to adjust to ‘The Patriot Way’
The New England Patriots were a football dynasty. Under quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, the team was absolutely dominant. With Brady at the helm, New England went to nine Super Bowls. They won six of them. Cam Newton was put in a tough position. He had to replace a legend at quarterback and then learn ‘The Patriot Way.”
What does ‘The Patriot Way’ even mean? Former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk said he heard it all the time. To him, it meant one thing. “I’ve heard people talk about ‘The Patriot Way,'” Faulk wrote in The Players’ Tribune back in 2017. “I don’t know where that phrase originated, but I think somebody in the media said it first, and it just kind of stuck. We actually used to laugh about it sometimes in the locker room.
“And it’s like people are always trying to define it in different ways. Some people say it’s the way Coach Belichick runs the team, preaching accountability and placing a strong emphasis on doing your job. Some say it’s our style of play, with Tom Brady as our quarterback. But truthfully, it’s neither. ‘The Patriot Way’ ain’t about nothing but winning, man.”
The phrase took on several different meanings
Good or bad, ‘The Patriot Way’ meant many different things to different people. Kevin Faulk said it was about winning, but was it more than that? Was it the system they ran? Were those constant short, over-the-middle passes part of it?
Bill Belichick has always run a very disciplined program. He doesn’t allow players to run their mouths. Opponents of the New England Patriots never had any bulletin-board material to use because one of Belichick’s players said something to the media. Was that ‘The Patriot Way?’
Joking or not, some have even brought the Patriots’ scandals into the mix. Quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games for his alleged role in deflating footballs. The Patriots were heavily fined and docked draft picks for illegally videoing opponents. People joked that was ‘The Patriot Way.’ Whatever the case, it’s been brought up a lot and it’s never been fully addressed.
Cam Newton summed it up in two words
During Monday’s I Am Athlete podcast, Cam Newton was a guest and was having a discussion with former NFL players Brandon Marshall, Chad Ochocinco, and Fred Taylor. Several topics were discussed on the 97-minute podcast. Newton was asked what he learned about ‘The Patriot Way’ after his first season with the team.
“It’s mental stamina,” Newton said. “It’s hard to explain, but that’s the definition. You have to have as much energy as you had for the first day of pads as the last day of pads. You’re going to practice. You’ve got to be mentally tough and you have to be physically tough.”
Newton and the Patriots went 7-9 this season, New England’s first losing season since 2000. There’s been some talk of New England bringing him back for another season. Asked if he was open to returning, Newton offered a “hell yes.”