Matthew Judon says he believed the Patriots were a bunch of "weirdos"

Maybe New England isn't so lame after all.
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Many things have been said about the Patriots during the Bill Belichick era, some positive from those in the New England area. But when it comes to those outside of the fandom and team, they've come to many conclusions about what it must be like to play for the Foxboro team.

The most common talking point from players who have never stepped foot into the Patriots locker room is that playing there isn't fun. Because of Belichick's strict coaching, the pressure of playing for a historically successful franchise, and the buttoned-up press conferences from top to bottom, most believe the atmosphere has to be one of the worst in the NFL.

We've heard it a lot over the years from players like Lane Johnson of the Eagles, who claimed he would never want to play for a team like the Patriots, especially since it's so fun to be a member of the Philadelphia team.

But we've also heard countless players defend and put down the assumptions made about playing for Belichick's team, like Chris Long, who made it clear last year that he very much enjoyed his one-year stint with New England.

So when Matthew Judon sat down with new NBC Sports analyst and legendary defensive captain Devin McCourty earlier this week, it wasn't too shocking to hear the former Raven reveal what he really used to think about the Patriots before signing with them in 2021.

"Outside looking in, you see just a whole bunch of stuck up guys. But when you get in the building, y'all joke, have fun, do things differently than a lot of other teams around the league or from where I was from. I was like, ‘These dudes not pencil necks. But I thought when you (McCourty) were back there running around, I was like, ‘Man, this dude, he a cornball.’ But I got here, and you were kind of straight.

That’s what I was thinking. I ain’t really never met y'all at any other social event or nothing. I ain’t never seen like a Patriots player out. So, I was like, ‘Man, these dudes are weirdos.’ I ain’t never met none of y'all in the offseason. I come from Granite Valley, so I don’t really know y'all like that or have connections like that."

Much of what changed Judon's mind about his new team has been said by other players, too, especially those who played elsewhere before arriving in Foxboro.

He discussed how the vibe of the locker room and the first guys he met when he joined the team influenced his thinking and made him feel comfortable being himself on and off the field. Since the Patriots were known for being what some would call a straight-laced team, it wasn't often you would see players dancing or being over the top with their celebrations or overall demeanor, other than Rob Gronkowski.

But Judon revealed his new teammates told him to go out there and be himself, and that's exactly what he did.

"When I came in, y’all just joked and y’all kind of took me under y’all wing. And y’all was like, ‘Judon, go out there and be you. We know you might not know some of these plays. You might mess up a little bit, but we’re going to get you right.’

Y'all just allowed me to play football and when I can play football, I can be myself."

Besides making a tremendous impact over the last two years in creating a dominant defense, Judon has quickly become an integral piece of the Patriots team and a fan favorite.

From his red sleeves and iconic sack celebration to playing catch with fans before every home game, he was warmly welcomed to New England, and based on his comments about wanting to retire as a Patriot, it's apparent he is enjoying his time with those former 'weirdos.'