Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas said Thursday that his falling out with head coach Bill Belichick started after the first week of the 2009 season.
“After the Buffalo game, the first game of the year, something happened and I was like ‘I really don’t understand this,’" Thomas said on the "Felger and Massarotti Show" on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub while visiting Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIV.
“I really don’t want to go into it, because I still don’t understand it. I had a meeting and I just really didn’t understand some of the stuff I was being told. So I knew at that point it was bigger than what was on the surface. It was something bigger than that. You guys watch the games. I was used totally differently this year than I was last year before I broke my arm. Even before I came back, I was told that I was going to be used differently.”
Thomas was pitching a marinade at the Super Bowl, but during this interview he was mostly grilled about where things went wrong in New England.
Asked more about the meeting after the Bills game, Thomas said it wasn’t about a specific play but more his overall performance and “whether or not it was sufficient.”
“It’s the first game back and the way some stuff went down, I just really didn’t understand it,” he said. “It was a confusing meeting to me. I understood some of it, but a lot of it was just confusing and it even got more confusing as the year went on.”
Thomas, who is scheduled to earn $4.9 million in 2010, said he is not sure where he will playing next season. Asked if he wants to come back to the Patriots, he responded: “I want to come somewhere where I’m wanted and where I’m going to have fun. That’s where I want to be.”
He couldn’t say he didn’t feel wanted in New England, but said, “I definitely didn’t have fun. It was definitely a frustrating year as far as that goes.”
Thomas called his three years in New England a "roller coaster", and this year was a low point that included him being a healthy scratch for a game against the Tennessee Titans and being sent home with three others for showing up late for an early December morning meeting in snowy, icy conditions. He called the situation this year "mind-boggling."
One theme that came up a few times in the interview -- and seemed to be at the root of Thomas' frustration -- was Thomas pointing out that the coaches critiquing his play weren’t on the field themselves. It sounded like Thomas felt that he was being overcoached.
“The way they coach things and do things may be totally different than how I see it,” he said. “There is a checks-and-balance system that really is not going to marry up because regardless of what you see as a player on that play, it really doesn’t matter if someone else sees it differently. Unless you’re on the field, there are a million things going on at one time. So when you see something and you go, you don’t have time to sit back and think or whatever.
“Monday through Saturday is for coaches. Sunday has to be for the player. You do adjustments and everything like that, which is great, but at the same time you can’t coach every single thing during the game. It’s just impossible to do because there are so many things going on. A player can’t tell you every single thing that happens in front of him because it happens so fast and there is the next play. You’re trying to go to the sidelines trying to recap everything and it’s kind of hard to do that.”