Dion Lewis

Dion Lewis: Trash talk at Patriots last season 'all fun and games'

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USA TODAY Sports

Dion Lewis: Trash talk at Patriots last season 'all fun and games'

Dion Lewis couldn't resist taking a shot at his former team after his Tennessee Titans dominated the New England Patriots in a 34-10 win last season.

The former Patriots running back said “That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked,” after the Titans' impressive Week 10 victory.

Lewis was reunited with many of his old teammates Wednesday when the Titans hosted the Patriots for a joint practice ahead of Saturday night's preseason game. Did any of Lewis' former teammates bring up his harsh comments about the Patriots from last season?

“Naw, man. They know it’s all fun and games,” Lewis told reporters, via NFL Network's Mike Giardi, after Wednesday's practice. “Just competitive. Guys are out here talking trash today. That’s what you do when you go against somebody, you talk trash, you compete and you just try to get better. That’s just what it is when you’re on the field, you’ve gotta have that mind-set. Just having fun.”

Does Lewis still carry a chip on his shoulder from the Patriots not re-signing him after the 2017 season?

“That’s old news, man,” Lewis insisted. “I’m just happy I’m here. Trying to get better going against the Super Bowl-winning team. The only thing we do is come out here every day and try to get better -- just blessed to have the opportunity to go against those guys in practice. It definitely will help us moving into the season”

Lewis tallied 917 total yards and two touchdowns for the Titans last season. He failed to find the end zone in each of the last eight games as the Titans missed the playoffs for the ninth time in the last 10 years. The Titans aren't expected to make the playoffs this season, either, but at least Lewis got his money in free agency.

Click to watch Tom Brady, Mike Vrabel engage in friendly trash talk>>>

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Revisiting former Patriots' trash talk following Super Bowl LIII victory

Revisiting former Patriots' trash talk following Super Bowl LIII victory

The aftermath of Super Bowl LII was messy for the New England Patriots.

A host of players left in free agency to pursue larger contracts, and several were not shy about what they thought about Bill Belichick and the "Patriot Way."

Moreover, when the Patriots hit rough patches during the 2018 season, several of those players took the opportunity to take shots at their old team, in some cases making the argument that Belichick's frugal ways were the cause of New England's problems.

In a season in which more than a few predicted (again) that the Patriots' dynasty was over, this criticism was par for the course.

But after New England proved the critics wrong and became the first NFL team since the 1972 Dolphins to win the Super Bowl the year after losing it, let's revisit the trash talk levied at the team by some of its former players.

Former Patriots running back Dion Lewis was very outspoken during the season. After his Tennessee Titans (who failed to qualify for the playoffs) beat the Patriots in Week 10, Lewis said:

"That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked. I didn't have to prove anything. I know I can play. I just had to let our team know that these guys are beatable...I know those guys. I know that you be physical with them & let 'em have it & they'll fold."

Lewis did not stop there. After the game, Lewis laughed at his former team in a pair of tweets:

According to Mike Giardi of NFL Network, Lewis' teammate and former Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, when asked if the win over the Patriots was different than any other knowing who was on the other side, "smiled a little brighter and said, 'most definitely.'"

Danny Amendola, who left the Patriots for the Miami Dolphins in free agency, also didn't hold back in an interview last offseason with Mike Reiss of ESPN.

"I understand Bill [Belichick] runs a tight ship, and he hasn't been known to pay his players, really. I understood that I gave money back to him so I could play for him and play for my teammates and fulfill my side of the contract, and at the end of the day, I had faith that he was going to give me an opportunity to stay. When free agency broke, I came to the realization that he wasn't going to really come close to any of the other offers I had.

"It's not easy, that's for sure. He's an a--h--- sometimes. There were a lot of things I didn't like about playing for him, but I must say, the things I didn't like were all in regards to getting the team better, and I respected him," he said. "I didn't like practicing in the snow, I didn't like practicing in the rain, but that was going to make us a better football team and that was going to make me a better football player. It wasn't easy, and he'd be the first to admit, at the [Super Bowl] ring ceremony, that it wasn't easy playing for him. The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony."

While much has been said about the Patriots since last offseason, Amendola's last point rings most true, and prescient. After yet another Super Bowl victory, Belichick and his team are celebrating another Duck Boat parade, while his detractors once again are watching from home.

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Bill Belichick responds to Dion Lewis calling the Patriots cheap

Bill Belichick responds to Dion Lewis calling the Patriots cheap

After signing a four-year $19.8 million contract with the Tennessee Titans this offseason, Dion Lewis helped defeat his former team Sunday with a 34-10 drubbing at home. 

In his post game availability, Lewis had a few choice words for the Patriots, who let him walk in free agency without a new contract. 

Bill Belichick has a reputation for letting players go for big contracts, and then replacing their contributions for less money. On WEEI Monday, he responded to Lewis' comments. 

Dion’s made plenty of positive comments in the past... I’m not sure about this one, but whatever it is, it is. Right now, we really need to worry about what we’re doing and our football team. And that’s really where our focus is. Whatever else anybody says or doesn’t say is out of our control. I don’t think it’s going to affect us too much one way or the other, whether it’s good or bad.”

Lewis has passed receiving total from last year already, but has not gotten the same amount of carries in Tennessee while sharing the backfield with Derrick Henry. Meanwhile, New England has gotten career-best production from James White. 

Other players can say the Patriots are cheap, but they continue to find replacements year after year. 

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