FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick provided a rare glimpse into the Patriots’ draft history Thursday, revealing a deep secret in regard to the 2008 NFL Draft.
The Patriots, it turns out, did not plan on drafting Matt Ryan. They had a guy on the roster who had just thrown 50 touchdown passes.
That was Belichick’s rationale for not providing his impressions of Ryan as a Boston College quarterback, and he added that rarely facing him at the NFL level (twice) has left the Patriots with less first-hand familiarity with the Atlanta quarterback.
“That wasn’t a player that we were going to take, so he wasn’t really a factor to us [in college],” Belichick said.
Yet Belichick, who was rather cordial Thursday at Gillette Stadium, couldn’t completely play dumb when it came to Ryan. The New England coach went was effusive in his praise for the MVP favorite.
“He’s had a great career,” Belichick said. “He does everything well. He handles the line of scrimmage well, gets the team in the right plays, plays good in critical situations, deep ball, intermediate throws, possession passes, red passes; he’s athletic, he can get out of some trouble. There’s really no weaknesses to his game.
“He’s a team player, he does the right thing for the team, puts his team in a position to win. There’s not much to not like about him.”
Ryan finished second in the NFL with 38 touchdowns in the regular season, throwing only seven interceptions in the process. This postseason, he’s thrown seven touchdowns and no picks in two games, averaging 365 passing yards a game.
Now for some fun with playing with quotes: The Patriots actually did have the seventh overall pick in that draft, so perhaps the Falcons can take a page out of the Patriots’ book and conjure up a slight over a team with a top-10 pick ruling out their guy. #BulletinBoardMaterial