Patriots

General? Governor? Football coach: Edelman describes Belichick's 'extraordinary' motivational tactics

General? Governor? Football coach: Edelman describes Belichick's 'extraordinary' motivational tactics

FOXBORO -- Julian Edelman has played for Bill Belichick for 10 seasons now. He's halfway through his 11th with the future Hall of Fame head coach. He's the fourth longest-tenured player on the Patriots roster. Yet even he's not sure what makes Belichick tick.

After Belichick recorded win No. 300 of his career — 263 of those for the Patriots, and 114 with Edelman — one of the most productive receivers in team history was stumped when he was asked what keeps the boss going.

"I don't know what keeps him motivated," Edelman said. "That's one of the things that's the most extraordinary thing about him. He doesn't ever let complacency kick in. It doesn't matter what time of the year it is. That's something that I really look up to him [for], and I try to pull from him. My one word is 'machine.' Machine. Because he's a machine. He just does all the work all the time. He never lets up. He never cuts a corner. That's why he's him."

Belichick came full circle with his latest landmark victory. His first came as head coach of the Browns against the Patriots, in Foxboro. His tenure there ended with the team moving to Baltimore and him losing his post. After a few years as an assistant (including one year with the Patriots in 1996) and an extraordinarily brief tenure as HC of the NYJ, Belichick made it back to the Patriots and slowly built up his reputation as one of the greatest minds to ever walk an NFL sideline.

🏈 PATRIOTS 27, BROWNS 13

Perhaps that experience in Cleveland built in him an unwavering drive. Perhaps that was established much earlier in his life, as he saw coaches come and go and he worked his way up the career ladder. Or even much earlier than that, as he grew up around a disciplined and hard-driving Navy program as a kid in Annapolis.

Whatever it is, it's rubbed off on his players — many of whom share the same chip-on-their-shoulder mentality, like Edelman or Tom Brady.

When Edelman was told that Belichick recently praised his veteran receiver's work ethic, and that he respected Edelman's drive to the point that it pushes him to continue to work, Edelman sounded like he couldn't believe it.

"That makes me wanna go work even harder now," Edelman said with a smile. "I can't let up or he'll be eating his words. He's a very motivating guy.

"I joke around with all the little stories here and there about him and how he is. But he's got a special way of making guys want to go out and work to their fullest for him. He's got that mindset. I don't know what it is. He could he only talk to you once, twice a week and those one or two times — it makes your day. I don't know if it's strategic. But I explain to everyone: Football coaches are usually ex-football players. He's like a general, or someone that should be a governor, or leading some sort of military operation that's a football coach. It's literally, that's how I feel. That's how I explain it to people."

Belichick's reaction to his 300th victory won't do anything to take away from those comparisons. He hardly let it impact his postgame routine. He hugged his son and assistant Steve Belichick after the clock hit zeros. He hugged assistant Jerod Mayo. He found Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens and shook his hand. He found Tom Brady for an attaboy. Then he headed into the locker room.

🏈 PATRIOTS 27, BROWNS 13


Later at the podium, Belichick said, "It's a great privilege to coach this team and to coach the guys that I've coached throughout my career. Fortunately, I didn't play in any of those games. That's a good thing for us, but I've had a lot of good players, a lot of great players and they're the ones that win the games. I've had a lot of great assistant coaches on my staff through the wins at Cleveland and certainly here. I was a part of those but, honestly, players win games in this league and I've been fortunate that I've coached a lot of great ones."

He'll be right back on those players soon. They allowed over seven yards per carry to the Browns on Sunday. They went 2-for-6 in the red zone and 7-for-18 on third and fourth down. They're 8-0 and winning easily on an almost weekly basis. 

But that won't stop Belichick from doing what he does. His players know that. And the ones who've been around long enough, like Edelman, appreciate that approach.

"It's not easy winning games in this league -- 8-0, that's a huge feat," Edelman said. "But when you're constantly trying to improve your unit, your team, your play . . . and you know you're not where you want to be or where you think you could be, your mind gets tricked. You constantly want to keep chasing that standard, that goal that you have of clicking on all cylinders.

"That's what were going to try to continue do in practice. It's going to start this week against Baltimore, a very tough team, and we're going to have a great week of practice."

Spoke like the coach from whom he's taken his cues for the last decade.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Report: Raiders prepared to offer Tom Brady two-year, $60 million deal

Report: Raiders prepared to offer Tom Brady two-year, $60 million deal

We have an actual dollar figure attached to the swirling rumors of various Tom Brady free agency landing spots.

The Brady-to-Las Vegas speculation has been out there since TB12 was spotted chatting up Raiders owner Marc Davis at the Connor McGregor-Cowboy Cerrone fight in Vegas last month. Now, veteran NFL reporter Larry Fitzgerald Sr. (father of the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver) reports that Davis' Raiders are prepared to offer TB12 a two-year, $60 million deal.

It's interesting to note that Larry Fitzgerald Jr., like Brady, is a long-time interviewee of Jim Gray on Westwood One's broadcasts of Monday and Thursday night NFL games. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

While Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported on Super Bowl Sunday that the Patriots are willing to go beyond $30 million a year to retain Brady, it's unclear if New England would make a multi-year offer, since the face of the franchise, who'll turn 43 in August, essentially worked under a one-year deal this past season. 

Our Tom Curran has reported that while the Patriots will "extend themselves" financially to retain Brady, money is likely not the most important factor to the QB.

As Curran wrote Friday:

The persuasion in the Patriots pitch has to revolve around "who" and not "how much." The team that Brady plays for in 2020 won’t be the winner of a bidding war, it will be the one that provides the best ready-made landing spot to compete for a championship and have a shitload of fun while doing it.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

In Tom Brady's case, are NFL tampering rules made to be broken?

In Tom Brady's case, are NFL tampering rules made to be broken?

If Robert Kraft ever commissioned a sculptor to carve “10 Patriots Commandments” you’d be sure to find, “Thou Shalt Not Tamper With Our Employees” somewhere on that stone tablet.

Throughout Kraft’s ownership and Bill Belichick’s stewardship of the football operations, loyalty has been rewarded and betrayal punished.

From January 1997, when the Jets were monkeying around with Bill Parcells when the Patriots were getting ready for Super Bowl 31 against the Packers, through June 2019, when the Texans made their overtures to Nick Caserio, the Patriots have made one thing very clear: they aren’t going to be patsies when it comes to other teams trying to lure their people away.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Which brings us to Tom Brady. As everything does. Do the Patriots care that a stealth parade of suitors is probably all up on him already?

Is this uber-protective organization fine with half of the league’s teams sniffing under the tail of the most important player in franchise history before they’re supposed to?

Rampant tampering with prospective free agents isn’t the NFL’s dirty little secret.

It’s not dirty since it’s somewhat necessary.

It’s not little since every team does it.

And it’s not even treated as a secret.

This week, the estimable and honorable Tedy Bruschi was asked about Brady on ESPN.
 

“I think he’s gonna see what’s out there for himself,” said Bruschi. “Matter of fact, I know he will. But I don’t think he’s going to have to wait until March 16 because you’ve got agents, you’ve got talk going on behind the scenes and I think he has an idea on the teams that are highly interested in him ... He will explore his options and he has the right to do so.”

The question then becomes what’s the league office going to do about it?

We all know the NFL’s penchant for selective rules enforcement. We all know they’ll happily string the Patriots up for transgressions real or imagined and let them twist in the wind. We all know the so-called Spygate II investigation that could have been cleared up in 20 minutes is still ongoing.

So, even if everybody’s doing it, isn’t it a little (a lot) hypocritical for the league to turn a blind eye to teams crawling up the trellis to slip in Brady’s window after dark?

Yes, it is. But a little hypocrisy never slowed the league down from doing anything.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

Besides, they might say, tampering with Tom Brady is actually a victimless crime. It actually does the Patriots a favor.

If Brady and his agent Don Yee have a sense of what’s out there before they start negotiating with New England, then the need for Brady to go on a free-agent tour is eliminated.

If Team Brady has no clue, then Yee starts from scratch when the legal tampering period begins March 16 at noon. 

There’s no way to vet each of the opportunities -- a source close to the situation figures there will be 10 teams expressing interest -- before free agency starts March 18 at 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, how are the Patriots supposed to convince free-agent tight ends or wideouts to come aboard if those players don’t know whether or not Tom Brady will be a Patriot? It’s easily argued that outside teams tampering with Brady is in the Patriots’ best interests.

Besides, if this really isn’t about the money -- and I’ve been told often enough that it isn’t -- it won’t matter if some crap-ass team is offering $70 million over two years.

The persuasion in the Patriots pitch has to revolve around "who" and not "how much." The team that Brady plays for in 2020 won’t be the winner of a bidding war, it will be the one that provides the best ready-made landing spot to compete for a championship and have a shitload of fun while doing it.

All that said, it will still seem odd to me if the Patriots -- whether it be Kraft or Belichick -- don’t somehow have their sense of honor offended by all the predicted sneaking around.

It’s always offended their sensibilities going back to January 1997 when it came to light that Bill Parcells spent the week leading up to Super Bowl 31 ringing up the Jets from his New Orleans hotel room instead of getting the Patriots ready to play the Packers.

The Krafts were apoplectic. Belichick, an assistant on that 1996 Patriots team, was pissed too.

"Yeah, I'd say it was a little bit of a distraction all the way around," Belichick told our Michael Holley for Holley’s book Patriot Reign. "I can tell you first hand, there was a lot of stuff going on prior to the game. I mean, him talking to other teams. He was trying to make up his mind about what he was going to do. Which, honestly, I felt [was] totally inappropriate. How many chances do you get to play for the Super Bowl? Tell them to get back to you in a couple of days. I'm not saying it was disrespectful to me, but it was in terms of the overall commitment to the team."

Every situation’s different, I guess. In this case, the tampering rules were made to be broken.