I should have known.
I should have known that Bill Belichick would address the senseless murder of George Floyd with his team.
Belichick had remained silent on the matter when other notable coaches and owners like Brad Stevens, Gregg Popovich, and Wyc Grousbeck had spoken out publicly. The Patriots had released a statement, but we heard not a word from the Hoodie. His players were another story.
Mike Giardi of NFL Network reported that the coach held an extensive session with his team regarding the matter. Patriot captain Matthew Slater told Phil Perry on The Next Pats Podcast that his coach, “has a healthy understanding of the situation and the times we’re living in. I think he’s done of good job of trying to listen, trying to learn from his players and try to navigate this as best he can.”
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Of course. Shame on me for doubting him.
Belichick is a "my way or the highway” kind of guy. We know that. However, he has consistently changed “his way” during his coaching tenure.
Known as a defensive-minded coach, he took the reins off of Tom Brady to 2007 as his one-time game manager threw 50 touchdowns that year.
This no-nonsense coach brought in one-time problem players like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss and made them into extremely productive Patriots.
A military-minded fellow has had no problem with a player’s facial hair, hair length, or how they dress.
His training camps have become more about field trips to the movies than two-days as he adapts to the ways of managing a player’s health in today’s NFL.
As my friend and colleague Steve DeOssie has told me thousands of times, “Bill, does business as business is done.” There is not a better example of this than the coach’s virtual session with his team. He tossed football aside and was there for his players.
How could Belichick look Slater or the McCourty twins in the eye and not address this situation?
How could he pass Andre Tippett in the hallway in Foxboro and remain silent? He shouldn’t, he couldn’t, and he didn’t.
Belichick knows his players need him right now and did the right thing and spoke up. He just didn’t need to tell us about it, which is OK with me.