For most NFL players, it might seem like the equivalent of a dream job to play for a perennial Super Bowl contender like the New England Patriots. But if you ask San Francisco 49ers defensive end Cassius Marsh, who spent some time in the 2017 season playing for the Patriots, there wasn’t much fun to be had as a member of this century’s most successful NFL franchise, may it be in terms of playing one’s preferred position or in terms of the general environment and team culture.
A fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Marsh spent his first three NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before getting traded to the New England Patriots. He was waived after just two months with the team, then picked up by the San Francisco 49ers, where he spent the rest of the 2017 season, coming off the bench in all of the six games he played. Looking back on his time with the Patriots, Marsh told the San Francisco Chronicle that he felt uncomfortable as a coverage linebacker in New England, given his reputation as a speed rusher.
Although it was one thing for Cassius Marsh to do things he had never done in his NFL career, such as covering running backs and receivers and “almost never” trying to rush the quarterback, he alleged that the Patriots’ team culture does not allow players to have any fun.
“There’s nothing fun about it. There’s nothing happy about it. I didn’t enjoy any of my time there, you know what I’m saying? It made me for the first time in my life think about not playing football because I hated it that much.”
All in all, the Patriots experience was such a negative one for Marsh that he claims he purposely tried to get himself waived from the team and even aired his grievances in a meeting with head coach Bill Belichick. But with the 49ers claiming him off the waiver wire midway through the recently completed 2017 season, he appears to be happy to be playing football once again. Despite his reserve status, Marsh was tied for third in sacks, with a total of two in six games, and also tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles.
Given the controversial nature of what Cassius Marsh said about the New England Patriots, USA Today wrote that many Patriots fans apparently weren’t happy with the 25-year-old defensive end’s remarks. This was inferred from a recent tweet of Marsh’s, where he said he “definitely stacked up some new haters” following the San Francisco Chronicle interview. So far, the Patriots have not commented on Marsh’s interview, but as USA Today suggested, it might not be surprising if no one from the team raises a fuss about an ex-player remarking that “it’s not exactly fun and games” in the team’s locker room.