Bill Belichick has a better understanding of NFL rules than arguably any head coach in the history of the game, and he wants to see those rules align more with the collegiate level.
Belichick pointed out this week that there are over 60 differences in the rules between the NFL and college football. He believes that’s confusing for more than just the players, and the New England Patriots coach wants to see it change.
Belichick says there are over 60 differences between college and the NFL football rulebook. Says he thinks that's confusing for players, coaches, and fans. Wants the rules to align between the two levels. #Patriots
There are some significant differences between the college and NFL rules. One of the most notable is pass interference, which is only a 15-yard penalty in college but a spot foul in the NFL. A player also only needs one foot in bounds to complete a coach in college but two in the NFL. There are many others, as Belichick said, and some of them probably could change.
Belichick obviously has a reputation for bending the rules, but he also gets a charge out of exploiting them. If young players have a better understanding of those rules when they join New England’s system, that might make Belichick’s job a little easier.
Bill Belichick offered some high praise for Cam Newton during a recent interview.
Belichick joined “The Rich Eisen Show” for a phone interview on Monday and was asked about Newton. The New England Patriots head coach said how impressed he has been with the effort the quarterback has given since joining the team.
“He’s an extremely hard-working player,” Belichick said of Newton. “(He’s a) first-guy in, last-one out type of guy. He’s really studied hard and has spent a lot of extra time trying to learn our offense, our communication, our calls, nomenclature and so forth. I’ve been very impressed with that. He’s done a good job of picking it up. He’s a very skilled athlete. We’re just working through it day by day. We have a long way to go, but we’re taking steps and we’ve got a very competitive competition at a very competitive position at the quarterback spot. It will be interesting to see how everybody does.”
Eisen asked Belichick what led the Patriots to sign Newton. Belichick said that Newton being available is what helped. He also specified that Newton was open to working with their situation. That likely means he was willing to take a prove-it contract and not be guaranteed the starting job.
Belichick says Newton has “a lot to work with,” which could be a good sign about his standing in the Patriots’ quarterback race.
The New England Patriots are holding an open competition at the quarterback position this offseason, but could there be more than one winner?
Bill Belichick was asked on Wednesday about the possibility of using two of Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in Week 1. The Patriots coach said it is “certainly” something he would consider if it’s best for the team.
Is a QB platoon a possibility in New England? Bill Belichick won’t rule it out.
“I always say I’ll do what’s best for the team, what gives us the best chance to win. Whatever that is, I would certainly consider that…If it helps us win, I would consider anything.”
Newton is obviously the most talented of the three quarterbacks competing for the job. However, there are two concerns for the former NFL MVP — health and familiarity with the offense. Using Newton in tandem with Stidham or Hoyer in the early part of the season would be a way to keep Newton healthy and allow him to get up to speed with the offense.
The lack of preseason games also complicates things for the Patriots. Belichick has to make a decision based solely on training camp practices, which don’t necessarily translate to actual games. A two-quarterback system to start the season could serve as an extension of the QB battle.
Stidham and Hoyer have looked more comfortable with the offense than Newton in practice, which was expected. However, Stidham did have a brutal stretch of play on Tuesday. Week 1 is quickly approaching, and Belichick is clearly leaving all options on the table.
Bill Belichick is already giving pregame speeches, but not in the sport that he usually specializes in.
At the invitation of coach Brad Stevens, the New England Patriots coach spoke to the Boston Celtics ahead of their playoff opener against Philadelphia on Monday. Belichick said he wanted to help the Celtics prepare for a “critical time” in their season.
Bill Belichick says on @OMFonWEEI that Brad Stevens asked him to speak to the Celtics: "I don’t know anything about basketball, but I know a little bit about competition and trying to perform well at the most critical time of the year, which is what they’re in right now."
Belichick has been effusive in his praise for Stevens in the past. This was likely something he was happy to do, and it was probably exciting for Celtics players and a nice mental boost ahead of what will be a very unusual playoff run.
Bill Belichick got his first real up-close look at Cam Newton this week, and it seems like the New England Patriots head coach has been impressed with what little he has seen.
Belichick, who is typically hesitant to praise players early in the year, shared some of his thoughts on Newton with reporters on Friday. While he didn’t go into specifics, Belichick said Newton is a “hard-working kid” who has absorbed a lot of information already.
“A lot of information has been transferred to all the players, and he’s worked very hard, I’d say as all of our players have,” Belichick said, via Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “We have a hard-working group. Those guys are ready to go. We’ve put in some long days, and they’ve been very attentive throughout the process.”
Belichick praised all of the quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster and said they have been “locked in” during an unusual offseason.
“When they all get in the huddle, everybody has a lot of confidence in what they’re able to do and the information they have to give to the team — play-calling, adjustments, audibles, protection adjustments, things like that. That’s all gone pretty well. But again, we haven’t played at anywhere near the speed that we’re going to be playing at, so we’ll see how it comes together at that point.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been around NFL training camps for more than four decades now, but the 2020 offseason is one unlike any other. Even with coronavirus protocols in place, however, Belichick says things do not feel much different with Week 1 rapidly approaching.
Belichick spoke with reporters on Friday about the health and safety protocols that are in place at Gillette Stadium and elsewhere. He joked that the plexiglass bill must be “pretty high” for teams, but he said practices have seemed fairly normal.
“Yesterday was the first day that we had a walk-through with both the offense and defense on the field at the same time, so prior to yesterday we were defense against defense, offense against offense,” Belichick said, per Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “Yesterday was our first chance to do that. I would say it looked to me like all the coaches coached and the players played pretty much like we always do other than masks and some other modifications, things like that. No, I didn’t see any substantial difference.”
Belichick has never been one to make excuses, so his comments are hardly a surprise. All teams are dealing with the same unusual circumstances, which is why there is no sense focusing too much energy on them. That said, there have to be many significant differences with this offseason compared to past years.
Expectations are high for Cam Newton as a New England Patriot in 2020, but one person who knows both the quarterback and the organization well wouldn’t be surprised if it all came crashing down.
Defensive tackle Kyle Love played for the Patriots from 2012 through 2012, then was Newton’s teammate with the Carolina Panthers from 2014 to 2019. He doesn’t think Newton will be able to handle coach Bill Belichick’s critical style of coaching.
“This is just my opinion, but I don’t feel like Cam can take the pressure of coaches talking down about his play,” Love told Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. “If he had a bad game in Carolina, the coaching staff wouldn’t say much to him because they may have felt he could be a little frail about it or maybe pout. They never really corrected to the point Bill used to correct Tom (Brady).”
Love said he found the environment in Carolina under ex-coach Ron Rivera incredibly laid back, especially compared to the tighter ship Belichick ran in New England. The defensive lineman did admit that he’d heard Belichick had relaxed some since Love departed the team.
Rivera himself doesn’t seem to have any doubts about the move. The question, though, is less about Newton’s fit in the Patriots’ scheme and more about how he operates under Belichick. If Newton buys in and Belichick adapts to what works and doesn’t work for Newton, things should be fine. If they fail to see eye-to-eye, there could be issues.
Bill Belichick surprised some people earlier this month when he was spotted becoming the latest spokesperson for Subway, but the New England Patriots coach had a very good reason for agreeing to the ad spot.
Belichick told reporters on Friday that he shot the Subway commercial to help raise money for his charity, The Bill Belichick Foundation. He said the ad was a good way to raise funds during a time when it has become more difficult, likely referencing the fact that functions and other typical charity gatherings cannot be held at the moment.
Bill Belichick says the Subway ad he shot was to help raise money for his foundation. "Difficult environment to raise funds now…This was an opportunity to spend a day to be able to fund the initiatives we have in the foundation for student athletes." https://t.co/IbbuGk7qr3
Belichick is viewed as a no-nonsense coach who takes part in very few endorsement opportunities, which is we saw so many puzzled reactions when the video of him filming the Subway commercial emerged. It makes more sense that he was doing it to raise money for charity.
According to the New Haven Register, the New England Patriots head coach drew a sizable crowd while filming the commercial, no surprise.
Belichick has the image of a mostly no-nonsense coach, which has helped him win six Super Bowls as a head coach and eight overall. That image has led to some criticism from opponents. That’s why seeing Belichick possibly loosened up in a commercial would truly be something. Maybe without Tom Brady around, he feels like he’s ready to take up the spotlight.
Whether they expected their relationship to end this offseason or not, both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are almost certainly looking forward to the opportunity to prove that they can win without the other. But can they? That will be one of the best storylines to track throughout the 2020 NFL season.
When Belichick retires, he will go down as arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history. When Brady retires, he will be remembered as arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history. That will remain true no matter what happens this year and beyond, but one of the two stands more to gain — and perhaps more to lose — by trudging on without the other. That someone is Brady.
Belichick and Brady both have Hall of Fame resumes. What they accomplished together will probably never be topped. Form a legacy standpoint, the big difference between the two is that there was a Belichick before Brady. There was no Brady before Belichick.
You can say he got lucky, but Belichick made the decision to draft Brady with the 199th of the 2000 NFL Draft. Everything Brady accomplished — six Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl MVPs, three NFL MVPs, 14 Pro Bowl selections, an NFL record 30 playoff wins and so much more — came with Belichick as his coach. While Belichick’s most noteworthy accomplishments have come while Brady was under center with the New England Patriots, the 68-year-old coach had success in the NFL before he and Brady won their first Super Bowl together in 2002.
Before the Patriots hired him to be their head coach in 2000, Belichick won two Super Bowls as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants under Bill Parcells. He went to another Super Bowl as an assistant under Parcells with the Patriots in 1996, and he helped lead the New York Jets to the AFC championship in the same role in 1998. You can credit a lot of that success to Parcells, but Belichick was considered a defensive mastermind before Robert Kraft offered him a head coaching job.
There was also 2008, when Brady tore his ACL in the first game of the season. Belichick still led the Patriots to an 11-5 record with Matt Cassel as the team’s quarterback. That record wasn’t good enough to make the postseason that year, but it is often pointed to as proof that Belichick can win without Brady.
Of course, there was also Belichick’s stint with the Browns. He went just 36-44 as the head coach of the team from 1991-1995. His best year in Cleveland was in 1994, when the team went 11-5 and won a playoff game.
The bottom line is — no matter how you want to spin it — Belichick has been a key part of championship teams at the NFL level without Brady. Even if the Patriots become a 6-10 team without Brady, the argument can always be made that Belichick went 11-5 one season in New England without No. 12 and helped a team win two Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator.
Brady has done nothing without Belichick. That isn’t a knock on TB12, as he has never had the opportunity. He’ll have that chance with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but what if the team misses the playoffs? What if Brady and Bruce Arians simply aren’t a fit, and the Bucs turn out to be a major disappointment? It will certainly be reasonable to point to Brady’s age, but, should that happen, it still won’t change the fact that Brady never accomplished anything at the NFL level without Belichick as his head coach. For that simple fact, Brady has more to gain — and lose — by beginning a chapter of his legendary career without one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history.