Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Bill Belichick is coy (#shocking) on the new helmet rules

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not reveal much when asked about the NFL's new helmet rules, but it's unclear whether his quietness stems from strategy or uncertainty.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick rarely has much to say, except when he’s asked a specific question about football theory that triggers a 20-minute monologue. But that’s usually not because he chooses not to speak. When it comes to the new helmet rules, Belichick quite possibly has nothing to say because there’s really nothing to say at this point.

“We always have coached fundamentals and proper techniques as we believe in them and as we’re instructed with the rules,” Belichick told reporters on Wednesday when asked to explain how the new helmet rules will impact his coaching. “So that’s always part of it.”

But it’s hard to coach the new helmet rules amid a lingering sense that a disconnect exists between what the rules say and what they actually prohibit.

“Do you feel like you have a good grasp on it?” Belichick was asked. “There seems to be some confusion league-wide about what is and isn’t going to be called.”

“We know what we know,” Belichick said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

“Do you know specifically the line play -- how it’s going to be called in the trenches?”

“Yeah, we know what we know,” Belichick repeated. “We’ll see how it goes. I think you’d have to talk to Al [Riveron] and people in the officiating department about that.”

This response implies either that Riveron and company haven’t shared the information with Belichick or that whatever the league has told Belichick doesn’t fully address the situation.

It’s troubling to have so much uncertainty so close to the start of the season. People need to know what the rules will be from the start of the season, and the rules in Week One need to be the same rules through the postseason. Any other approach would undermine the integrity of the 2018 campaign, which in turn threatens the integrity of the game.