Intersting article from a former player:
The New England Patriots are the team that every other club in the NFL wants to be — whether they admit it or not.
When I was still playing, that’s who we wanted to be, and whom we wanted to beat — on every team that I played. In Buffalo, all we talked about was finding a way to beat New England.
In the film room, whenever a Patriots tape was on — even if it was against a team we were preparing to play that Sunday — the conversation always shifted to New England. Why are they so good? What do they do that makes them better than everyone else? Is it the scheme or the players? Why do they get whomever they want in free agency? Sure, we would sit in those cold chairs in the dark of the film room and throw out criticisms of their players every so often, but we would be kidding ourselves if it wasn’t out of pure, unfiltered jealousy.
***The Respect Factor
This might be the most important factor when it comes to the Patriots’ success.
Tell me a time when a player went to the podium after a game or during interviews after practice and criticized the way things are done in New England. Because I can’t find one.
The Bottom Line
Players are drawn to New England because of the coach, the wins, the “team” idea that seems to exist there compared to every other dysfunctional NFL franchise.