Lombardi on WEEI: Jamie Collins just isn't that good

Lombardi on WEEI: Jamie Collins just isn't that good

Former assistant to the Patriots’ coaching staff Mike Lombardi joined Kirk and Callahan on WEEI Tuesday, doubling down on his insistence that the Patriots traded Jamie Collins because the player simply wasn’t that good. 

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“Watch the tape. Watch him try to cover in the playoffs,” Lombardi pleaded. “Jamie has not played particularly well. That’s the reality.”
Lombardi, who had tweeted following Monday’s trade of Collins to the Browns that the player is prone to do “whatever he wants” rather than sticking to his assignments, said that Collins’ status as an upcoming free agent didn’t strike him as the reason for the trade. 

“Look, it’s not about his contract next year. Let’s forget that, all right? Because if he was playing at, as you call, the Pro Bowl level, as you believe he’s playing, they would keep him and use him,” Lombardi said. “But if he’s playing at the level that I watch on tape, there is really nothing you can do. You’re better off trying to cut your losses, get something for him. It’s nothing about the extension. It’s not about next year.”

Lombardi noted that the Patriots could no longer play Collins in running situations and intimated that managing when they could and couldn’t put him on the field would be a challenge as the season went on. He also flatly refuted a Boston Globe report that the Patriots had offered the player $11 million a year to stay in New England. 

“I don’t think that’s accurate,” he said. “In fact, I know that’s not accurate. [Agent] Bus Cook said there’s been no discussion about his contract. So there’s no $11 million offer. There’s never been an offer of that, and Bus Cook admitted that.”

While Lombardi’s experience has earned him multiple jobs both in the NFL and in the media, one common takeaway from his criticism of Collins was that he was defending Bill Belichick because of their time together. Lombardi said his words were based solely on watching the player play. 

“I think if you’re just objective — look, that’s the one thing,” Lombardi said. “I think when Belichick says, ‘I did what’s best for the team,’ I think he really means it. 

“I’m not an apologist for Belichick. We’ve had a lot of discussions in terms of what we disagree on and what we agree on in terms of when I’ve worked with him and when I haven’t worked with him. I think when he ends up making a decision, it isn’t just by the seat of his pants. It’s through a lot of thought, it’s through a lot of study, and the perception in this case doesn’t meet the reality.”

Pro day circuit shows Belichick in his element

Pro day circuit shows Belichick in his element

Bill Belichick is a teacher. His father was a teacher. His mother was a teacher. He is very much their son in that regard. 

The glimpses into Belichick's essence aren't as rare as you might think, but they still generate an inordinate amount of interest because he's arguably the best to ever execute the kind of teaching he's made his life's work.

Every time he takes several minutes to answer a conference call or press conference question thoughtfully, the hundreds of words found in the text of the transcribed answer typically create a stir on Twitter. NFL Films productions that show Belichick operating behind the scenes are devoured. Exclusive interviews, where he shares his insight on individual games and matchups, NFL Films productions that show Belichick operating behind the scenes are devoured. Exclusive interviews, where he shares his insight on individual games and matchups, make every installment of the ‘Do Your Job’ series a must-watch.

Clips of Belichick on the practice field aren't necessarily hard to find, there just aren't many of them considering how many practices he's run over the course of his decades-long career. But thanks to more lax media policies at the college programs he visits for pro days, video of his on-the-field work pops up on a regular basis this time of year. They are mini-clinics dotting the internet. 

This is Belichick in his element. Even in the middle of a random university campus. Even with scouts, coaches and front-office people from around the league watching his every move. Whether he's coaching players one-on-one or three or four at a time, Belichick is imparting his wisdom on eager close-to-blank slates. All the while he's trying to evaluate how they're absorbing what he's giving them. Do they pay attention? How do they process information? Are they error-repeaters? 

It's a fascinating give-and-take between the 60-something coach trying to build a roster and the 20-something players trying to make one, some of whom hadn't yet hit kindergarten when Belichick won his first ring in New England. And he seems to enjoy it. 

Here's a quick look at some of what Belichick has been up to the last few days at Georgia, South Carolina and NC State.  



Patriots re-sign LB Marquis Flowers

Patriots re-sign LB Marquis Flowers

Linebacker Marquis Flowers is headed back to the Patriots on a one-year deal worth up to $2.55 million, according to his agent, Sean Stellato. 

Flowers, 26, a sixth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014, was acquired by the Patriots near the end of training camp last year for a seventh-round pick. 

More to come...