The dynamic inside the walls of Gillette Stadium is vastly different from the one Ted Johnson came to know over the course of his Patriots tenure.
New England players’ respect for Bill Belichick recently was called into question in wake of Jack Jones’ suspension. Failing to follow guidelines for his injury rehab apparently was the root of the problem for the rookie cornerback, who reportedly talked back to Belichick at one point when the sides were at odds.
A first-year player being combative with arguably the greatest football coach of all time is something Johnson — who played under Belichick for five seasons — couldn’t wrap his head around.
“That’s amazing,” Johnson said, per NBC Sports Boston. “The ecosystem is so different now. That’s an amazing story to me. Like, you’re a rookie, and you’re going toe-to-toe with Bill in a meeting?
“He’s just lost some of his cache, it feels like. They don’t respect him the way they used to. And for rookies to be challenging Bill like that in front of everybody is unbelievable to me.”
Johnson’s sentiment effectively was co-signed by former teammate Ty Law. The Hall of Fame cornerback, however, believes money might be the main reason why younger players possibly don’t respect Belichick as much as they used to.
Regardless, Belichick might have to do some damage control with players — of all ages — after a 2022 season that was littered with frustration.