By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — “The Patriots Way can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, it’s an ideal, a standard of success that has driven the most successful dynasty in football history. To others, it’s an empty slogan, an imagined fairy tale that works to oversimplify how the Patriots conduct business.

The reality is that the answer lies somewhere in between. No, the Patriots are not entirely different from other organizations in a number of aspects. Still, there’s no denying that unique and inimitable way Bill Belichick goes about his business.

In a span of just a few seconds, retired tight end Rob Gronkowski provided some perspective on one part of Belichick’s managerial style. Gronk, appearing in a promotional clip for an upcoming episode of “The Shop” on HBO, shared the following simple message:

“You’re not treated like a superstar in that organization,” Gronkowski said.

When asked, “Not even Brady?” Gronkowski responded emphatically: “Not even Brady!”

While it’s obviously only a brief snippet of a larger conversation, it does quickly get to the heart of how Belichick and the Patriots do business. From shipping out the likes of Lawyer Milloy and Richard Seymour just days before the start of a season, to playing hardball at the negotiating table with Brady, Belichick and the Patriots have their principles and stick to them.

While that cold approach can lead to some chafed feelings on occasion, the unprecedented level of sustained success on the football field every year speaks for itself.


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