Tiquan Underwood, the guy who loved being a Patriot so much that he did that to his hair, was released by the team on Saturday, just hours before the Super Bowl.
It's callous and it's cold-blooded, but that's football, and that's Bill Belichick. I'm sure that Underwood is emotionally devastated, but that's a head coach's job. If he feels like another player might help a little more on Sunday, even if it's just for one play, then it's the coach's job to make that decision. Feelings aren't a part of it.
Underwood probably didn't expect this, but he's no stranger to being released, either. It's the third time the Patriots have cut him this season.
What might make it even harder on the guy is that he didn't do anything wrong. And in an impressive four-tweet barrage following his release, Underwood put it all in perspective.
That, friends, is a class act.
According to the Boston Herald, the move has no disciplinary motive behind it. The Patriots simply wanted another defensive lineman on the roster. Alex Silvestro (ironically, like Underwood, a Rutgers product) is the guy who will take his place. He's been on the Patriots practice squad all season.
Belichick recently spoke glowingly of the Rutgers players on the Patriots roster, Underwood, Silvestro, Nate Jones and Devin McCourty.
"I think all four players are very team-oriented, and they come from a great program. I think that program has, under Coach (Greg) Schiano, prepared their players well for the NFL. I think if you look around the NFL, you see a lot of players from Rutgers in the league, not necessarily all of them are high draft choices like (Devin) McCourty, also including other players who were not drafted or lower draft choices. They've made teams, and I think that speaks to the preparation of that program in terms of getting players ready to play in the NFL — how to prepare, how to work, how to train, how to compete, how to play football similar to the way it is played in the NFL. Those four players have done a good job for us. In terms of the program, you can see those types of players on a lot of teams. When they get to the NFL, most of those players end up making it, at least for a while."
In the grand scheme of things, Underwood still has to count himself lucky. He was a part of a Super Bowl team. He experienced everything about Super Bowl week except for the Super Bowl itself. And if the Patriots go on to win, he'll still get a ring, and it will be just as big and shiny as Tom Brady's or Wes Welker's.
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