the thing about the patriots is that Rob (and frankly, most everyone else) misreads the ‘do your job’ and ‘next man up’ ethos as this twisted ‘uber team’ system. Its actually the exact opposite- the pats are the one team currently in the league who are openly, nakedly and un-apologetically super mercenary.
most teams pretend that there is something beyond the self interest of the players (who are professionals looking to make money and win acclaim to get endorsements) as if they were still kids playing for their highschool or hometown and not professionals traveling across the world to make money. because of that, they indulge in ridiculous nonsense about team spirit and loyalty and do all these weird fines and rules and other things adult professionals in any other career would rebel against. the pats (by contrast) throw all of that off- they assume you are a pro, they assume you will show up and do your job. if you do that, they will pay you and give you a solid shot at a title. if you don’t, they’ll cut you. most players benefit from doing all the camps and practices and keeping their nose clean and so they do, but if you get a gronkowski who wants to party and showboat and still can deliver the goods, they will take that too.
its deeply, cynically, mercenary and pure ‘its just business, friend’ in every aspect. but i think there are a lot of football players (especially guys who have been around) who find that sort of purely transactional relationship to be refreshing over the ‘you’re either all-in or all-out!’ chest beating of other franchises.