Patriots

Dimitroff: Ignoring Belichick's advice on Julio Jones trade a turning point

Dimitroff: Ignoring Belichick's advice on Julio Jones trade a turning point

HOUSTON -- When Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was contemplating trading five picks -- including two first-rounders and a second -- to move up and take Julio Jones in 2011, his former boss advised against it. 

“Thomas, I’m just telling you as a friend,” Belichick said, as documented in Michael Holley’s “War Room” book. “I wouldn’t do it.”

So if it didn’t already seem like a ballsy move for Dimitroff to part with all those picks already, imagine how ballsy it must have felt after being told by a Hall of Fame team-builder that it was a bad idea. 

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“[I have a] great deal of respect for Bill,” Dimitroff said Monday night. “At the end of that conversation, when I thought to myself I’d hit a crossroads, three years into the league that I was not necessarily going the same direction that he was advising. I thought, ‘I guess I’ve really kind of grown up here,’ because that’s not an easy thing to do, is listen to someone as football intelligent and rounded as Bill [and go against it]. So that was a really interesting point in my career.”

Thanks to Cleveland’s incompetence with the picks, the trade has proven to be a complete slam-dunk for Atlanta, who boasted the No. 1 offense in the NFL this season en route to a chance to play for the city’s first Super Bowl title. 

It’s hard to imagine Bill Belichick is a guy who likes to admit when he’s wrong. He was in this case not only because Jones became a star, but because Jonathan Baldwin, whom Holley noted Belichick thought was just as good if not better, didn’t prove to be much of an NFL player at all. 

So… has Belichick ever brought up that conversation since? 

“No, he has not,” Dimitroff said. “We’ve not ever talked about it. He knows that we have some good speed and talent on our team. I’ll let him answer those questions, for sure.” 

Dimitroff suggesting that Belichick would answer those questions further underscores that he really has been gone from New England for a long time. 

EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

On this episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast...

0:10 - Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen give their takeaways from the Patriots win over the Falcons including the defense coming up strong against Atlanta but New England still taking too many penalties.

2:00 - Why it felt like this game meant more to the Patriots, their sense of excitement after the win, and building chemistry off a good victory.

6:20 - Falcons losing their identity without Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and their bad play calling and decisions on 4th downs.

10:00 -  A discussion about Matt Ryan not making the throws he needed against the Patriots and if he has falling off the MVP caliber-type player he was last season.

14:00 - How and why the Patriots secondary seems to be playing better without Stephon Gilmore and why Malcolm Butler has been able to turn up his play as of late.

Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

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Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

If your team makes a goal-line stop in the fourth quarter, but you can't see it on the All-22 tape, did it even happen? 

Bill Belichick said the fog that hovered above the Gillette Stadium turf on Sunday night didn't impact the play on the field, but it did make its imprint on the game in other ways. First of all, spotters and coaches up at the press level had some difficulty relaying information to coaches on the sidelines. Video on the hand-held tablets for sideline use -- as well as the old-school still-frame pictures Belichick prefers -- was also obstructed. 

Then on Monday, as coaches tried to digest the film, the fog butted in on the process again. 

"It affected us a lot this morning because it’s hard to see the game," Belichick said during a conference call. "The fourth quarter is – I don’t know – pretty close to a white-out on the sideline film. The sideline cameras are at the top of the stadium, so that’s a tough shot.

"The end zone cameras are a little bit lower and they get a little tighter shot, so the picture is a little bit clearer. But, on that shot, a lot of times you’re not able to see all the guys on the perimeter. It’s kind of an in-line shot.

"Yeah, the first half, start of the third quarter, it’s all right. As they get into the middle of the third quarter and on, for those of us with aging eyes, it’s a little strained to see it, and then there’s a point where you can’t really see it at all, especially from the sideline. So, yeah, it affected us."

Belichick re-iterated that the fog didn't do much to the product on the field (other than maybe making life difficult for kick and punt-returners), refuting Julio Jones' claim from late Sunday night. When it came to digesting the film, though, that was another story.

"It was more, I’d say, just tougher for, whether it be our video camera or the fans that were sitting in the upper deck. It’s just there was too much interference there," Belichick said. "It was probably hard to see the game. I know when we tried to look at the pictures in between series – you know, I don’t look at the tablets, so I won’t get into that – but the pictures, it was kind of the same thing. It was hard to really be able to make out exactly what you were seeing."