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#pounditMonday, September 26, 2022

Bill Belichick has huge praise for lesser-known Patriots stalwart

Bill Belichick with a headset

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is an avowed fan of hard work and fundamentals. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that when comparing one of his current players to Tom Brady, he picked one known for doing the dirty work.

Wide receiver Matthew Slater re-signed with the Patriots on a one-year deal in March. Slater is regarded as one of the best special teams players in the NFL, and Belichick heaped incredibly high praise on him last week.

“[He] will go up there, in the kicking game, with [Tom] Brady on offense and [Lawrence] Taylor on defense,” Belichick said of Slater, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “So I feel very, very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach all the players, but I’d say those three in particular.”

Brady and Taylor are among the best to ever play. For Belichick to put Slater in the same category says a lot, especially since the Patriots coach can be notoriously slow to praise any of his players that effusively in public. That said, we know how much Belichick values the hardworking unsung players who form the foundation for the rest of the team.

Slater’s excellence has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the NFL, either. His special teams contributions have earned him ten Pro Bowl nods and five first-team All-Pro honors.

Photo: Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines during the second half of their loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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