FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick spent some time early on in Wednesday's practice speaking with a very large man in a knit hat, sunglasses and jeans. The Patriots coach spent most of his time with his head tilted up, giving his neck a little workout as he went back and forth with the near seven-footer.
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"Needs some treatment," Belichick said. "He's a big guy. Yeah, he's a big guy."
So who was that towering presence? None other than former Celtics big man Dino Radja. The Boston Herald recently made note of Radja's visit to Boston, and his trip apparently extended down to Foxboro.
Radja played for the Celtics for four seasons in the mid-1990s. He also won two Olympic silver medals. One as a member of the Yugoslavian national team and then, following Croatian independence, the Croatian national team.
Belichick is of Croatian descent and has proudly boasted of his heritage in the past. Speaking about Rob Ninkovich (who also has Croatian roots) on the day Ninkovich announced his retirement this summer, Belichick said, "He’s Croatian so I knew he was tough. There was never any doubt about that. All Croatians are tough."
Don't expect Radja to be suiting up for Belichick's team anytime soon, though, even if, at 6-11, he has the size to be a kick-block specialist.
"Yeah, he’d be good, wouldn’t he? It would be hard to kick it over him," Belichick said, smiling.