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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

Bill Belichick

Tom Brady’s trainer Alex Guerrero critical of way Bill Belichick handled QB

Tom Brady

It is no secret that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady had a difficult time getting along during their final years together in Foxboro. The two future Hall of Famers may be unwilling to admit it publicly, but those close to Brady are.

Alex Guerrero, Brady’s longtime trainer and best friend, spoke with Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald this week about Brady’s divorce from the New England Patriots. Guerrero confirmed the obvious, which was that Brady did not feel appreciated enough toward the end of his tenure with his former team. According to Guerrero, the seven-time Super Bowl champion felt he had earned special treatment and was not getting it from Belichick.

“The interesting thing I think there — and this is just me, an outsider looking in — it was like Bill never really … I think his emotions or feelings never evolved with age,” Guerrero said. “I think in time, with Tom, as Tom got into his late 30s or early 40s, I think Bill was still trying to treat him like that 20-year-old kid that he drafted.”

Belichick always tried to treat Brady like everyone else on the roster. That served Brady well throughout much of his career, and he spoke openly about how the approach made him better. However, he clearly grew tired of it after nearly two decades.

Guerrero added that Brady “should be treated differently” as an older player. He also contended that none of the other players in the locker room would have been bothered if Brady received special treatment. Guerrero even thinks Belichick changed his approach when Cam Newton signed with New England.

“It’s interesting, if you look at how Bill looks at some of these other players, it looks to me like he’s been able to modify or change a little bit,” Guerrero added. “Maybe he’s forced to. If you’re going to be a coach, a coach should be the one to modify or make changes.”

Brady and Belichick will meet in Week 4 in what is arguably the most highly anticipated NFL regular season game of all time. As they have done throughout their careers, they will likely say all the right things leading up to the showdown. But if Brady tries to claim it is “just another game,” we already have proof that he is lying.

Zach Wilson gets ‘seeing ghosts’ treatment against Bill Belichick

Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson is the latest in a long line of young quarterbacks who have been stymied by Bill Belichick, and everyone seemed to make the same joke as the New York Jets rookie struggled on Sunday.

Wilson threw four interceptions — three in the first half — in his first career start against the New England Patriots. The abysmal performance immediately reminded NFL fans and reporters of when Sam Darnold threw four picks against the Patriots two years ago. Darnold wore a microphone for that game and was infamously heard saying he was “seeing ghosts.” You can see the video here.

Naturally, Twitter concluded that Wilson must have also been seeing ghosts while facing Belichick’s defense.

Wilson finished 19/33 with 210 yards and the four interceptions in New York’s 25-6 loss. It was a day to forget for the former BYU star.

Belichick has made a career of doing that to inexperienced quarterbacks. Unfortunately for Jets fans, he has now tortured their QBs on multiple occasions.

Bill Belichick shares thoughts on supporting player amid social media backlash

Bill Belichick

New England Patriots running back Damien Harris has faced a lot of criticism on social media in the wake of his costly late-game fumble against the Miami Dolphins last week. Bill Belichick is notoriously ignorant when it comes to all things Twitter and the like, and the coach thinks his players would benefit from sharing the same mindset.

Harris fumbled in the red zone with minutes left in New England’s 17-16 loss. Belichick was asked on Friday about that crucial mistake and if he has any thoughts on players receiving social media backlash for blunders. You won’t be surprised by his response.

“I don’t really know or care anything about social media. I don’t even know what’s out there or isn’t out there, that’s irrelevant to me,” Belichick said. “It doesn’t matter. We played football before there was social media and it didn’t matter then, either.”

As for Harris’ fumble, Belichick said one mistake does not determine the outcome of a game.

“We all make mistakes. We can make a mistake at the beginning of the game, we can make a mistake at the end of the game,” the coach added. “Sometimes that gets magnified because of the timing of it, but there are other things that could have happened at different points of the game that would have had just as big or maybe even a bigger effect on the game.”

Belichick has famously mocked social media platforms in the past. There have been times where you’d swear he has never even used a cell phone or computer, but he probably plays that up. What we do believe is that he considers social media to be useless and a distraction. He’s certainly not alone with that.

Bill Belichick clarifies his comments on COVID vaccine

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick faced some unwarranted criticism last week over some remarks he made about the impact of COVID-19 on NFL teams, and the New England Patriots has decided to clarify his stance.

There was some speculation last week that Cam Newton’s vaccination status (he is unvaccinated) played a role in the Patriots’ decision to release him. Belichick shot that down and noted that there have been several unvaccinated players and staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. Some, like Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, made the leap that Belichick was implying COVID vaccines are not as effective as people think.

Belichick opened his press conference on Monday by reiterating that he has not made any roster moves based on vaccination status. He said the team is “better off” if everyone is vaccinated but did not back down from his assertion that vaccines don’t solve all COVID-related issues.

The NFL obviously was not pleased with Belichick’s initial remarks. Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills responded last week by saying data has “consistently shown higher rates of infection in unvaccinated players than in vaccinated players.”

Not surprisingly, everyone seems to have misinterpreted what Belichick was trying to say. He was responding to a specific question about Newton being released due to vaccination status. His point was that a player who is vaccinated can still test positive, which is why he would not base a roster decision on vaccination status. The coach was in no way trying to claim that COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective.

If Newton outplayed Mac Jones in training camp and the preseason, he would still be on New England’s roster. We’ve heard of many reasons that have nothing to do with vaccination status that may have cost him his job. It’s silly that Belichick even needs to defend what he said originally.

Bill Belichick says vaccination status played no role in Cam Newton decision

Bill Belichick

Many were shocked that the New England Patriots released Cam Newton this week, and one theory is that the quarterback’s decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine played a role in the decision. As you might expect, Bill Belichick insists it did not.

Pro Football Network’s Adam Beasley reported on Tuesday that Newton being unvaccinated was one of three main factors that led to him being cut. Belichick was asked about that when he met with the media on Wednesday, and the coach said it is untrue.

“No. You guys keep talking about that, and I would just point out that … the number of players and coaches and staff members that have been affected by COVID in this training camp who have been vaccinated is a pretty high number,” Belichick said, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “I wouldn’t lose sight of that.”

Belichick was then asked if he considered keeping Newton as a backup to Mac Jones.

“I’m not gonna go through all the different things with any player on that,” he said. “We’ll just leave it the way it is and go from there.”

Those responses are exactly what you would expect from Belichick. He never reveals his motivation behind roster moves other than “doing what’s best for the team.”

Newton missed several days of practice last week due to what the Patriots called a “misunderstanding” with COVID protocols. The team was reportedly frustrated with him over the situation. He then played poorly in Sunday’s preseason game against the New York Giants, and Jones played well.

It’s worth noting that Urban Meyer already got himself into trouble by admitting vaccination status was a consideration when making roster decisions. Belichick isn’t about to make the same mistake.

Asante Samuel takes shot at ‘just another coach’ Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick is widely considered to be one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, but Asante Samuel is among the few who are not impressed with the future Hall of Famer. The former cornerback made that clear once again after the New England Patriots released Cam Newton.

ESPN’s Louis Riddick described Belichick as “cold blooded” following the coach’s decision to cut Newton on Tuesday. Samuel agreed, but he added some commentary of his own. The four-time Pro Bowler said he feels Belichick would be “just another coach” if he never had Tom Brady.

Samuel then said he believes Mac Jones will succeed in the NFL as long as the Patriots put the right players around him.

So let’s get this straight — Brady deserves all the credit for the six Super Bowls he and Belichick won together. However, if Jones struggles, that will be the coach’s fault for not putting the right pieces around him?

Samuel, who played for the Patriots from 2003-2007, is obviously biased against Belichick. He claimed last year that Belichick did not like the way Samuel played the cornerback position but then began teaching the position the same way after Samuel left. He was also critical of the culture in New England after Brady left the team.

We highly doubt Belichick would be “just another coach” without Brady, but it doesn’t matter. Both were equally responsible for building a dynasty with the Patriots. A quarterback can’t win multiple Super Bowls without a great coach, and vice versa.

Bill Belichick won’t rule out playing both Cam Newton, Mac Jones

Bill Belichick

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has yet to name a Week 1 starting quarterback, which is hardly a surprise. After Cam Newton and Mac Jones both played well in last week’s preseason win over Washington, some are wondering if the Patriots could use a two-quarterback system. Belichick is not ruling it out.

Belichick was asked about the possibility of a quarterback platoon during a Monday morning appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.” He did not shoot it down.

“I am going to do whatever I can to help the team win,” Belichick said. “So, if that’s playing a guard in the backfield, then we’ll play a guard in the backfield. If it’s putting 10 defensive backs on the field, if that’s what it is, maybe we’ll put 10 defensive backs on the field. I am not going to rule out anything. If I think something would help us win, I would consider it.”

That is a classic Belichick answer, so we wouldn’t read too much into it. He never speaks in absolutes, and his thoughts on New England’s QB situation are consistent with that. Though, the coach seemed to acknowledge that Newton has the upper hand.

“Well, I think the fact Cam started last year and he’s here, somebody is going to have to play better than him,” Belichick said. “We’re not going to take a job and say, ‘OK, here, this is gift-wrapped for somebody.’ But, training camp is all about competition. There’s an element of who the starter is, but there’s also the competition and in the end the competition is going to decide how things go in any given year.”

Belichick obviously wants Newton to play well enough to earn the starting job. The Patriots have a complicated offense. While Jones seems to be picking it up quickly, Belichick is the type of coach who would much rather have a rookie sit on the bench and learn. That said, he’s not going to stand by and do nothing if Newton plays as poorly this season as he did in 2020.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels gave a big hint about the QB competition on Saturday, but Belichick is not going to announce a decision before he has to.

Picture of Bill Belichick in weight room goes viral

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick is probably more motivated than ever this season after he watched Tom Brady leave the New England Patriots and immediately win a Super Bowl. While no coach in the NFL spends more time studying film than Belichick, it is clear that the 69-year-old also does a great job of focusing on his physical health.

A photo of Belichick banging out squats in the weight room went viral this week. Boston Connor from “The Pat McAfee Show” shared the image with the caption “Super Bowl confirmed.”

We’re used to seeing Belichick overseeing the weightlifting rather than doing it himself. That said, he actually looks pretty good for his age and was once a great athlete who played both football and lacrosse in college.

An opposing player savagely trolled Cam Newton during joint practice this week, but we doubt anyone’s going to say anything to Belichick. The coach is intimidating enough to begin with, let alone when he’s all-in on getting ripped.

Bill Belichick, Zach Ertz had funny interaction during joint practice

Bill Belichick

Joint practices can often lead to informal interactions between players and coaches who wouldn’t otherwise get the opportunity, and that’s what happened as Monday’s joint practice between the Eagles and Patriots.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Eagles tight end Zach Ertz got to chatting a bit during the practice, leading to some funny banter from Belichick. The Patriots coach said he wanted to get Ertz on his team — but Eagles GM Howie Roseman was asking too high a price.

Remember, Belichick can be pretty funny. But only when he wants to be.

As for Ertz, the irony is it sounds like he was very much available during the offseason, but perhaps not anymore. If the Eagles really were asking for two first-rounders and a pair of grandchildren, it’s quite understandable why he didn’t get moved.

Cam Newton reveals what Bill Belichick has told him about starting job

Cam Newton

Bill Belichick hinted earlier in the offseason that Cam Newton is going to be the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback in Week 1, but he apparently has not shared that same message privately with Newton.

Newton told reporters on Monday that Belichick has not assured him he will be first on the depth chart heading into Week 1. The former MVP claims he knows no more about the situation than the media.

That is somewhat hard to believe. While Belichick probably hasn’t named Newton the starter behind closed doors, it’s safe to assume he has discussed the situation with the team at some point.

Mac Jones looked comfortable in last week’s preseason game against Washington. The rookie completed 13-of-19 passes for 87 yards and did not throw an interception. Newton didn’t play as much as Jones, which could be a good sign for the former. Cam did, however, share a cryptic Instagram post about loyalty after the game. He said Monday that the post had nothing to do with football.

Belichick labeled Newton his starting QB after the Patriots drafted Jones in the first round. The coach has since implied that there is an open competition.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.