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#pounditMonday, July 15, 2024

Bill Belichick defends Joe Judge over latest controversy

Bill Belichick during a game

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks on the field before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots assistant coach Joe Judge continues to take heat, this time for a scheduling decision that wound up costing the team a pair of OTA sessions.

The Patriots were docked OTAs over special teams meetings that were considered mandatory and lasted longer than the NFL allows. Those meetings were apparently scheduled by Judge in his capacity as special teams coach.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about the violations and Judge’s role in them on Wednesday, and he downplayed any issues he might have with his trusted assistant.

Belichick is loyal to assistants he trusts, even if that might not seem totally earned to outsiders. Judge returned to the Patriots last season after an unsuccessful stint as New York Giants head coach, but reports suggested he was not a popular figure in the building last season, even with Belichick. The head coach is not going to throw Judge under the bus publicly, but it would not be a shock if that frustration is still lingering.

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