Bill Belichick isn't the friendliest boss, but he appreciates those who do their jobs.
Seth Wickersham's recently-published book, "It's Better To Be Feared," features plenty of insights about the inner workings of the New England Patriots. Among them: Belichick apparently doles out literal wads of cash to staffers who are underpaid and/or excel in their roles.
"Belichick would reward the coaches who made little, out of his own pocket," Wickersham writes. (Hat tip to Insider.com.) "During the season, he gave out what were called 'green balls,' wads of cash that could reach thousands of dollars.
"After the season, he would write a personal check to staffers who had overperformed — sometimes up to the six figures."
Belichick's gesture for his hardworking assistants may surprise some who only see the head coach's gruff press conferences. What's less surprising is that Belichick's monetary gifts make up for some less-than-ideal working conditions in New England.
According to Wickersham, Belichick (and by extension, his staff) often works 19-hour days and isn't shy about criticizing players and coaches alike during film sessions.
Wickersham also relayed two nicknames for New England's low-level staffers that sum up their quality of life: "PHDs" for "poor, hungry, and driven" and "20/20s" for young coaches making just $20,000 per year while working 20 hours per day.
Wickersham did add that Patriots assistants enjoyed relatively good job security under Belichick. New England isn't necessarily an outlier, either, as many low-level NFL assistants work long hours for little pay.
But Wickersham described the atmosphere at Gillette Stadium as "quiet and lifeless and focused," which doesn't sound too appealing -- unless you know you have a wad of cash coming your way after the season.