There’s a reason New England Patriots players don’t spend a lot of time complimenting their teammates, and it’s not for lack of admiration. Terrence Knighton found out the hard way not to heap too much praise on a fellow defensive lineman.
“You get coached up every day on how to talk to the media,” the former Patriots defensive tackle said on “PFT Live.” “One time, I did an interview and I gave a guy credit. I thought I was doing the right thing by digging up my teammate and saying he was going to have a great year. We got in a team meeting and (head coach Bill Belichick) called me out, basically said to me, ‘You’re not an expert, you’re not a D-line expert, we don’t need you evaluating guys.’
“There’s a certain way they do things, and it works. It’s obvious by their success,” added Knighton, who was released by the Patriots in August 2016, six months after signing. “Most of the guys that stick around there are all on the same page, and they just have one way of doing things. They’ve been doing that since he’s been there.”
Patriots players typically defer to the coaching staff when asked to evaluate a player. If they give up anything, it’s usually regarding the other player’s work ethic.
It’s rare for an ex-player to come out and say they’re coached up on how to speak to the media every day. It’s obviously not a coincidence that Patriots players rarely have anything juicy to say. If they say something off brand or out of line, they’ll hear about it from Belichick in a public setting.
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