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Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater push back on "The Dynasty" portrayal of Bill Belichick

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BOSTON -- You can add Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater as key members of the Patriots' dynasty who are pushing back against "The Dynasty."

The recently retired special teams ace joined Edelman's podcast "Games With Names," and it didn't take long for the 10-part Apple TV+ docuseries to come up. Both Edelman and Slater expressed some dissatisfaction with the way head coach Bill Belichick was portrayed in the series.

"I honestly think if you're in your 30s and you've played football, I don't think you've ever liked your football coach. You loved him. But you didn't like your football coach," Edelman said. "Just like I didn't like my parents when they made me do things that they knew was gonna make me a better person. I didn't like doing it, we didn't like doing it, work's not easy, doing the little s--- for preparation, doing walkthroughs for walkthroughs for walkthroughs, I hated it. I bitched about it all the time. But we needed it. And that's why you went into every single game knowing you outprepared that team and you have a shot to win. Every single game."

"To your point," Slater responded, "maybe there were times that many of us didn't like Coach. But we always loved and respected him. There was no question about that. We always knew that he was pushing us to be the best version of ourselves -- like our parents would."

Edelman also took issue with Wes Welker's description of Aaron Hernandez getting away with acting out at practice without getting reprimanded by Belichick.

"Welker's out here saying like Aaron Hernandez got away with murder -- figuratively speaking -- at practice? That's not even true!" Edelman said. "Welker painted the picture like [Hernandez] was like the king, like he got to do anything. I remember Bill motherf------ Aaron all the time. Come on, Welk! Trying to make up stories. We know you don't like Bill. ... I love [Welker], too! But you could clearly tell that he hates Bill."

Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater
Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Despite being the Patriots' all-time leader in postseason receptions and receiving yards (and ranking third in NFL history in both categories), Edelman didn't appear too much in the docuseries. Slater did get more screen time, including him saying that Belichick was hypocritical to publicly endorse Donald Trump for president after advising players to generally not comment on anything not related to football.

"I know there are some comments that I made on there that made it seem like Bill was just this very demanding presence -- and he was. But I also want people to see that there are multiple sides of Bill, right?" Slater said. "And it's tough because I feel like he's being portrayed in a certain light. And we're painting a picture, but we're only showing people part of the picture. With Coach, it's very complex. And there are things that, you know, were tough, and I'm sure we all feel like, 'Hey, maybe we wish we had done things this way.' But let's make sure none of us forget the fact that the dynasty is not even being talked about without Bill Belichick. And the things that he did were with intentionality and purpose, and I think he got the best out of all of us."

Last week, Devin McCourty and Rodney Harrison expressed their displeasure with the way the series turned out, with McCourty saying he felt "duped" by the production team. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tuesday that he was "disappointed" with the docuseries' heavy focus on controversies and "challenging moments."

One person who hasn't chimed in -- and surely never will -- is Belichick himself. But the fact that several of his former players have already sought to adjust the public record after seeing that series indicates that many of them still hold their former coach in the highest regard.

Just maybe not Wes Welker.

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