TAMPA – Linebacker Monty Beisel’s brief stint in New England was known as much for a locker-room flare-up with a reporter as it was his on-field production.
Yet as Beisel looks back on the 2005 season and the ensuing offseason and training camp (he was cut before the 2006 season began), he now calls it a “great learning experience.”
“I think it’s helped prolong my career; it’s definitely something I don’t regret,” Beisel said in the build-up to Super Bowl XLIII. “Before I went there, everyone wanted to know ‘How are they winning championships? What are the things their players and coaches are doing to take that next step?’ Being there for a year and a half, and seeing the steps they take to be successful, I think that definitely helped me the last two-and-a-half, three years I’ve been with the Cardinals.”
Beisel is a backup with the Cardinals, contributing mostly on special teams.
In New England, the hope was that Beisel could help fill the void left by the surprise retirement of Ted Johnson. When training camp opened in 2005, Beisel and Chad Brown were the top inside linebackers in the team’s 3-4 defense, as the Patriots were also without Tedy Bruschi, who had suffered a stroke earlier in the year.
Before long, Beisel’s playing time “fell off the table” and Bruschi’s in-season return pushed him further down the depth chart. Beisel also couldn’t break through in 2006 and was released before the start of the regular season.
Beisel’s time in New England is still remembered – thanks to a clip on sports radio WEEI that surfaces from time to time – for a shouting match with a local reporter.
“I read one article that said I was seeing a psychiatrist and said I had anger problems, and all this crazy stuff that was just nuts,” he said. “What people don’t always realize is that these players are people. They don’t see it as someone who is changing jobs, new city, going through a divorce, is losing some playing time. Things kind of got crazy.”