The news that New England Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry wants out after just two years has led to plenty of people analyzing his viability as an NFL player. But to one former Patriot, his failure in New England falls elsewhere.
In an interview with Boston Sports Tonight, former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson attributed Harry’s struggles with the team to the departure of Tom Brady. Johnson feels that losing Brady has changed the entire organization, from players like Harry all the way up to head coach Bill Belichick.
“I think the Patriots, quite honestly, have lost that thing that makes them the Patriots,” Johnson said, via NESN. “You take Tom Brady out of New England and the entire ecosystem has been disrupted. When have you ever seen a player take on Bill Belichick that has not accomplished anything in this league, like N’Keal Harry is taking him on so publicly?”
“You’re seeing things from players you’ve never seen before. You’re seeing Bill Belichick do things you’ve never seen Bill Belichick do,” Johnson said. “Why? Why all of a sudden now? It’s a totally different ecosystem now that Tom is gone. And you’re seeing things and behaviors out of Bill Belichick and out of players that you’ve never seen before.”
"When have you ever seen a player [like Harry] take on Belichick so publicly? It's a totally different ecosystem now that Brady is gone"@Teddyjradio talks about how players in New England feel more comfortable challenging Bill Belichick pic.twitter.com/9cuhDtQTBS
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) July 7, 2021
N’Keal Harry was the Patriots’ first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he’s struggled to make an impact so far.
Through two seasons, Harry has 45 receptions for 414 yards and four touchdowns. He struggles to catch anything in his area and has even experimented at tight end to try and get more touches. But he’s had no luck there.
Last year the Patriots endured their first losing season since 2000 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Is Johnson making a point about the Patriots?