Is the culture within the New England Patriots organization brutal to some players?
Head coach Bill Belichick runs a tight ship which could be difficult to handle at times.
While their approach to doing things can be questionable, the results are beyond doubt.
They’ve won six Super Bowls and dominated the AFC East over the last two decades.
But though some athletes find success in their system, some get lost like wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
The Patriots had high hopes for the former Arizona State standout after selecting him in round one of the 2019 NFL Draft.
He had an impressive run with the Sun Devils, especially his final season wherein he had 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns.
Those numbers made him a member of the First-Team All-Pac 12 for the second straight year.
The Patriots saw him as a big target wide receiver who could dominate smaller defensive backs.
Unfortunately, he did not pan out and had 598 yards in three seasons.
As a sign of surrender, the Patriots traded him to the Chicago Bears for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 draft.
However, his on-field performance is just one part of his narrative.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss shared some factors that lead to his lackluster stint in New England.
Patriots obviously bombed on N’Keal Harry pick (32nd, 2019).
Leg injury in preseason cost Harry 1st chunk of rookie year…tough to jump on fast-moving train after that…COVID 2020 offseason didn’t help…but Cam Newton referring to him as “battered” in NE culture also telling.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 12, 2022
Reiss tweeted, “Patriots obviously bombed on N’Keal Harry pick (32nd, 2019). Leg injury in preseason cost Harry 1st chunk of rookie year…tough to jump on fast-moving train after that…COVID 2020 offseason didn’t help…but Cam Newton referring to him as “battered” in NE culture also telling.”
No Time To Bounce Back
Based on the timeline shared by Reiss, Harry did not have an opportunity to heal and not worry about his job.
Having a full offseason in 2020 could have helped him recover better from his leg injury.
But the cancellation of training camp and the preseason shortened his time to re-learn the system.
In short, he never got off and the Patriots’ demanding approach did not help either.
Therefore, he is hoping for a fresh start in Chicago and to show the player the Patriots envisioned in him.