What is the New England Patriots locker room really like?
That is the question that has plagued mankind for centuries, or at least since 2000 when Bill Belichick became head coach and changed the franchise's fate forever.
20 years later, Belichick is still going strong and the Patriots have won six Super Bowls during his tenure.
It helped that he had Tom Brady, perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time under center, but Belichick was the man that called the shots.
On Monday, former Oregon Ducks running back Kejon Barner joined The Brian Noe Show to talk about his time in New England.
Barner played for the Patriots in 2018 and he used his first-hand experience to give host Brain Noe a glimpse of what Patriot life is like.
The former Oregon Duck admitted he was nervous to enter the Patriots locker room based on what he had heard.
But, when he arrived, his eyes were opened.
"It's a special place," said Barner. "There's a standard of excellence that they have and you're either gonna live up to it or you're not, and if you're not, you won't be there for too long."
That standard of excellence has made the Patriots one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports.
It's that success, coupled with Coach Belichick's constant grumpy face, that leads outsiders to believe that the Patriots locker room is all business, all the time. Barner says that couldn't be further from the truth.
I had a ton of fun. That was something that was obviously a concern. I wanna have fun playing this game. I wanna enjoy it. I wanna laugh. I wanna be goofy. I wanna be who I am. I wanna be the goofy guy that I am. It wasn't like this is strictly business, you're not gonna have fun. That was just as fun as any other locker room I've been in. When we worked, we worked. There is a time for work and there is a time for play. But when you worked you were gonna work. But outside of that, it's no different than any other locker room. Same goofy guys laughing, joking around, playing around. It's a locker room, no different than any other place. It's just, when it's time to work, you are going to work... and you're going to work."
If you noticed, Barner put some emphasis on work. That is what set the Patriots apart. When it was time to work, it was time to put the joking aside to get the job done.
"That's what a learned there. If you walked into that organization, you did the things you were supposed to do, carried yourself as a professional athlete, you came to work every day, grinded hard, did the things that were required of you, you don't have a problem at all," said Barner. "But for the guys that come in and they aren't accustomed to that type of locker room environment where when it's time to work you actually have to work, there's gonna be a problem for you."
Barner spent just five games with the Patriots, and spent last season with the Atlanta Falcons where he was the team's primary punt returner. Barner h 35 punt returns for 267 yards and a single touchdown. He also had 17 kick returns for 406 yards.
Barner is currently a free agent and is continuing to train while waiting for his phone to ring.