- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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TAMPA – Former Patriots receiver Tiquan Underwood holds no grudges towards his former team, even after being cut the night before the Super Bowl.
Now with the Buccaneers, Underwood revisited that pre-Super Bowl cut as the Patriots came to town for joint practices. While some might have viewed the Patriots’ decision as harsh, Underwood looked at it differently.
“Not at all. The thing I love about Coach Belichick is that he does what’s best for the team every week, for that game,” Underwood said after a friendly greeting with several New England reporters.
“The object[ive] in this league is to win the game and he’s going to continue to do that, day in and day out, each week. As a player, you just can’t be on the back half of the roster because that’s where the tough decisions have to be made. I respect him because no matter what game it is, what week it is, he’s going to do that.”
Underwood said he was explained the situation the day before the Super Bowl, and the way it was handled, “there was nothing you can do but respect it.”
“You all know, Coach handles his depth chart decisions on Saturdays, the day before a game, whether it’s Week 1, Week 5 or the playoffs, and I just happened to be one of the latter guys on the depth chart,” he explained.
“They brought up Alex [Silvestro] from the practice squad and I got released. It’s part of the business, I understand that, and now I’m trying to put myself in a better position so when those decisions are made I’m not one of the guys that can be released. I want to be one of the guys on the front part of the roster.”
As for his time in New England, Underwood relayed what it meant to his career.
“A great organization, I’m just thankful to have played there for the time I did,” he said. “I learned so much as a player and as a person. It’s no secret why they’re so successful, because guys work so hard, the attention to detail. That’s really helped me as a player. I’ve brought it down here and I’m just trying to work on my craft.”