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Patriots addition pulls curtain on daunting assimilation to team culture

Patriots, Mack Wilson

New England Patriots linebacker Mack Wilson joined the team back in March, but fitting in has been a bit of a learning curve for the 24-year-old.

The Patriots acquired Wilson from the Cleveland Browns in a one-for-one swap for defensive end Chase Winovich. And Wilson recently spoke to NESN about the culture shift that went along with the move.

“Honestly it’s been a challenge,” Wilson said. “Just coming here, from day one, OTAs, I kind of went through that process where they broke my body down and built me back up to how they want me to be. It was tough, but I managed to get through it by pushing myself everyday and obviously, I feel like a better player. I feel more explosive. I feel faster, stronger, things like that.”

It’s a description of the Patriot Way that many people in the past have given. This idea of work, work, and more work. The process of being broken down to be built back up even stronger than before.

Despite the challenges, Wilson has put in the work. And despite some having criticized the Patriot Way in the past, the 24-year-old Patriots linebacker has embraced it.

“If you don’t love football, if you don’t eat, sleep, breath football here, you won’t make it long,” Wilson said. “The way they do things here is totally different from other organizations, and honestly, I can see why this organization has been so successful over the years.”

Wilson, a former fifth-round pick of the Browns, was traded after seeing his role diminish over the years. He had 82 tackles in 14 starts his rookie year. However, the new Patriots linebacker had just six starts in 2021. Wilson will look for a fresh start in New England.