This is the first Super Bowl weekend Belichick has had off in four years. There is absolutely no question that he hates that. On the other hand, he’s free to attend the Gronk beach party, so who’s really winning here? The only question at this point is how wild things get once the Patriots coach gets partying.
Belichick has been a bit chilly to Gronk’s post-retirement publicity stunts and announcements in the past. Now that the coach doesn’t have any games to obsessively gameplan for the next several months, he can kick back, relax, and indulge a bit.
The death of Kobe Bryant has been felt across the entire sports world, and Bill Belichick is one of countless players and coaches who got to experience Kobe’s greatness first-hand.
On Tuesday, Belichick issued a touching statement that included a personal anecdote about Bryant. Two years into his retirement, Kobe visited the New England Patriots during the 2018 offseason and addressed the team at the request of Belichick. The coach said Tuesday that it was the most captivated he has ever seen his team.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shares some thoughts on Kobe Bryant, with whom he had developed a unique friendship and respect for. pic.twitter.com/dWuWfEdd09
Belichick has been around football his entire life and has friends in some very high places. A number of sports legends and celebrities have addressed the Patriots as guest speakers over the years, so it says a lot that Belichick recognized the impact Kobe had on his players.
Kobe also took the time during that visit with the Patriots to record a video with then-Pats wide receiver Jordan Matthews, whose wife had just given birth.
This is leadership. After a long speech Kobe took time to congratulate my wife on her pregnancy and wish her good luck on training post delivery. He was Cheyna’s favorite athlete growing up. My son was born on 8/24. Thanks Brother pic.twitter.com/xuLWsfQkWg
It’s always easier to say nice things about a person after they die, but some of the personal stories people have shared about Kobe have been incredible. A number of Bryant’s greatest accomplishments in life came off the basketball court, and that is remarkable considering he was a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star.
More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:
Bill Belichick is among the NFL coaches who are hard at work watching some of the nation’s best young players at the Senior Bowl this week, and the future Hall of Famer arrived with a not-to-subtle reminder of the legend he has become.
Belichick wore a visor at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday that read “VIII Rings” across the front.
While there weren’t any crystal-clear photos of the visor, we can tell that the logo on it is the same one Belichick has on his fishing boat. He updates the name of the boat every time he wins another championship, and he has now won six as the head coach of the New England Patriots and another two as a defensive coordinator.
For a man of very few words who stresses humility to his players, that is a pretty strong flex. It’s also a fact that Belichick has eight rings, which is an accomplishment most coaches could only dream of. You can’t blame The Hoodie for wanting to show prospective NFL players the standards they will be asked to live up to if they’re fortunate enough to draw Belichick’s interest.
The New York Giants have chosen to hire Joe Judge as their next head coach despite his lack of experience in that role, and it sounds like Bill Belichick went above and beyond to put his former assistant in position to earn the opportunity.
Judge’s first job with the New England Patriots was as a special teams assistant from 2012-2014. He was then promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, and Belichick added wide receivers coach to his responsibilities this past season. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Belichick intentionally gave Judge the title of wide receivers coach to help him garner more attention as a head coaching candidate.
Breer noted that Andy Reid did the same with John Harbaugh when Harbaugh worked on his staff with the Philadelphia Eagles. Harbaugh was Reid’s special teams coordinator for eight years before Reid also made him defensive backs coach in 2007, and Harbaugh was hired as the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens the following year.
As you might expect, the Giants reached out to Belichick to ask about Judge. Tom Rock of Newsday says Belichick gave Judge a “glowing recommendation.”
The Giants did put a call in to Bill Belichick about their head coach vacancy… but it wasn't to lure him back to NY. I'm told Bill gave a glowing recommendation to the Giants on Joe Judge. That carried a lot of weight.
Belichick has seen several of his former assistants go on to earn head coaching jobs. While the overall results have not been that impressive, two of his disciples — Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien and Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel — are preparing their teams for Divisional Round playoff matchups this weekend. The Giants are hoping for similar results from Judge.
Many believe there were other more deserving candidates that were overlooked, but a lot of that can be attributed to the Belichick effect. Had the 38-year-old Judge not been an assistant with the Patriots, he probably would not have landed a head coaching gig this quickly.
Bill Belichick has always made it a point of emphasis to focus on what lies ahead of him rather than dwelling on the past, but it comes as no surprise that he is taking a different approach with questions about Tom Brady’s future in New England.
Belichick spoke with the media on Sunday for his end-of-season press conference, and he was asked several questions about whether or not Brady will be back with the Patriots in 2020. He noted that it had only been 12 hours since the team lost to the Tennessee Titans and said no one is thinking about the future yet. Belichick also would not say whether he plans to coach next season.
“We’re less than 12 hours from the end of the game. I’m sure there are a lot of questions about the future. No one has thought about the future…Whatever’s in the future we’ll deal with it at some later point in time.” – Bill Belichick just now pic.twitter.com/AX9xbMpefN
Brady is set to become a free agent in March, while there has been no indication that Belichick is contemplating retirement. For what it’s worth, Belichick praised Brady for all he has done for the Patriots. He also noted that contract negotiations are “not a one-way street.”
"Tom is an iconic figure in this organization. No one respects Tom more than I do…" – Belichick when pressed about Brady's status because of the QB's 20 years in the organization. #Patriots
The thought of Brady in another uniform still seems farfetched, but he said after Saturday’s game that it is “unlikely” he will retire. It’s not impossible to imagine a scenario where he wants a multiyear deal and the Patriots don’t want to commit to a 43-year-old quarterback.
All of the reactions we saw on social media show what the general public thinks of New England’s early postseason exit, but no one should be surprised if the Patriots re-tool and bring Brady back for another season with more help. If they do that, they’d still be one of the favorites in the AFC.
Mike Vrabel used the penalty trick against the New England Patriots on Saturday night and left Bill Belichick furious.
Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans were up 14-13 on the Patriots at Gillette Stadium with 6:39 left and the ball at New England’s 36. Many thought Vrabel should have gone for it, but he didn’t and instead decided to use his wits.
Vrabel had his team take a delay of game penalty to run more time off the clock. Then they false-started to run even more time.
Belichick was fuming as this went on and complained to the refs:
Then the Patriots committed a neutral zone infraction to change things from 4th-and-15 to 4th-and-10. Finally with 4:44 left, the Titans punted.
The Titans were able to take nearly two minutes off the clock thanks to this trick.
Just like Tennessee, the Patriots chose to punt rather than go for it on fourth down, and gave it back to Tennessee. The Titans got a couple of first downs, ran time off the clock, and nearly locked up the victory.
Belichick used the same exact trick in a win over the Jets in October and got a laugh out of it on the sidelines. He acknowledged at the time that he was exploiting a loophole in the rules that allows time to run off the clock when teams commit penalties prior to five minutes remaining.
Bill Belichick is at or near the top of almost every list that measures how good an NFL head coach is at his job. There is one area where he has struggled over the years, however, and it could be a factor when the New England Patriots take on the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night.
You may not realize it, but Belichick does not have a great record when coaching against former members of his staff and players who played under him. As Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports pointed out this week, Belichick has a record of just 14-13 in such situations. Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who played linebacker for Belichick in New England, is already responsible for one of those 13 losses. He will be looking to hand Belichick No. 14 at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
Another potential playoff opponent for New England, the Houston Texans, are also coached by a Belichick disciple. Former Patriots offensive assistant and coordinator Bill O’Brien got the best of his old boss with the Texans’ 28-22 win over the defending Super Bowl champions in Week 13 this season. Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who was the defensive coordinator in New England before landing at his current job, handed Belichick a loss just last weekend.
Patriots fans need not panic, however. Of Belichick’s 13 losses against his former understudies, none have come in the postseason. He is 2-0 in the playoffs in those spots, having beaten the Eric Mangini-led New York Jets in 2006 and O’Brien’s Texans three years ago.
If the Patriots are eliminated on Saturday, it probably won’t be because Belichick’s former assistants and players have his number. The Pats are playing some of their worst football heading into the postseason, which is never a recipe for success. There are also injury concerns surrounding the few impact players they have left on offense, so Belichick may need to do some of his best coaching to lead New England on another deep run. Should he fall short against Tennessee, his record against coaches who learned from him will look even more surprising.
Bill Belichick immediately denied having any hand in the New England Patriots taking video footage of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline during a game last month, and the NFL has found nothing that would indicate the coach is lying.
It has been nearly a month since the NFL launched an investigation into a member of a Patriots video crew filming the Bengals, and Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports that no evidence has been found linking Belichick or any member of his football staff to the incident. The investigation is winding down and the findings will still need to be reviewed by commissioner Roger Goodell and other league officials, but it does not sound like Belichick is going to be personally disciplined in any way.
The team, however, is another story. The Patriots admitted they violated NFL rules by videotaping the Bengals’ sideline from the press box during a Bengals-Browns game, though they insist they were only doing so for part of a documentary about the responsibilities of an advanced scout. The producer of the documentary has since been suspended, and he explained himself in a statement released through the team.
Whether it was an innocent mistake or not, that would still be considered an infraction. The most likely scenario is that the Patriots will face disciplinary action similar to the punishment that was handed down when the Atlanta Falcons were caught piping in crowd noise in 2016 and the Cleveland Browns used a cell phone to send text messages during a game between the general manager and head coach. The Falcons were fined $350,000, lost a fifth-round draft pick, and president Rich McKay was suspended from the league’s competition committee for three months. The Browns were fined $250,000 and former general manager Ray Farmer was suspended for four games.
Assuming Belichick truly did have nothing to do with the videotaping, you can understand the report regarding how he felt about the incident. Another videotaping scandal was the last thing the Patriots needed given their history with Spygate, and it must be frustrating if it was simply a lack of understanding of league rules from some video production people.
The New England Patriots on Saturday night clinched the AFC East for the 11th straight time with a 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills.
The game was pretty low-scoring, tight, and involved a comeback by the Patriots from down 17-13. The Patriots won it thanks to solid play by Tom Brady and a defensive stand at the end, in other words, exactly how Bill Belichick likes it.
The Patriots head coach, who is notorious for being a bit of a curmudgeon, showed some emotion after the win. He was actually shown smiling:
Don’t see Bill grinning while he walks to midfield much. You can tell how much he loves winning this way with this team. pic.twitter.com/kg2lww3MbM
Bill Belichick emphatically denied having anything to do with a New England Patriots videographer illegally filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline during Sunday’s game in Cleveland, but that does not mean the coach is blowing the incident off. Apparently, Belichick is livid.
Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston wrote on Thursday that Belichick is “beside himself” about what took place in Cleveland. The future Hall of Famer hates distractions, and there’s no question this has become one. Not only that, but it stems from something that was done by Kraft Sports Entertainment, which has to do with the Patriots brand and not the football side of things.
As Curran puts it, Belichick “tolerates the intrusion of Kraft Sports Entertainment” and understands the importance of an NFL team promoting its brand. He also appreciates football history and recently took part in NFL Network’s multi-part special for its NFL 100 All-Time Team, so he has been known to partake in documentaries like “Do Your Job,” which was the reason the Patriots had a production crew in Cleveland. However, the mistake — which the Patriots insist was an honest one — has now led to other scandals making their way back into the news and is already being viewed by some as another stain on Belichick’s legacy.
Like Spygate and Deflategate before it, the incident in Cleveland will surely blow over. Belichick knows that, but he also knows his team is coming off a tough loss and seems to be getting weaker as the season goes along. The last thing the Patriots needed was another controversy, let alone one that was created by someone Belichick may not even know.