New Patriots CB Jalen Mills freaked out when he met Bill Belichick
The New England Patriots have shown a lot of players how highly they think of them with their free agent spending spree this offseason, but Jalen Mills is not letting his new contract go to his head. The veteran defensive back seems to be in disbelief that he now gets to play for arguably the greatest coach of all time.
Mills, who signed a four-year, $24 million deal with the Patriots, told reporters recently about the first interaction he had with Bill Belichick. He said he was totally starstruck when he walked out of the cafeteria at Gillette Stadium and Belichick greeted him.
“I literally turned my back to him and I screamed out loud, like, ‘This is coach Belichick.’ Excuse my language, but like, ‘This is f—ing Coach Belichick.’ Like, I screamed it loud,” Mills recalled, via Justi Leger of NBC Sports Boston. “And then I turned back around and he was still just like monotone, like regular, just still having a casual conversation with me, when I’m freaking out, and I was like, ‘My fault, Coach. One more thing, I gotta cut you off. I don’t want to disrespect you, but Coach, you’re a legend to me. I’m happy to be here.’ He was like, ‘Same, man. Happy for you to be here. Can’t wait to get going and coach you up.’”
Mills is 26, which means he was around 7 years old when Belichick won his first Super Bowl with the Patriots. Mills also alluded to that.
“This is a guy who I’ve been watching since before I even started taking football serious,” Mills said.
A lot of players have been in the same position when they get to New England and meet Belichick and, previously, Tom Brady. The Patriots were dominant for so long that many of their current players grew up watching their dynasty as young children. Mills’ reaction to meeting Belichick was a great reminder of that.
While Mills may be in awe of Belichick’s accomplishments, he’ll quickly learn what an underrated sense of humor the legendary coach has.