Tag:Bill Belichick
Posted on: June 13, 2011 7:00 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 7:25 pm

Tedy Bruschi talks about Patriots' media rules

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Part of Bill Belichick's genius is his ability to dupe onlookers into believing that his hobo chic image is anything other than shtick. But early in his Patriots coaching career Belichick had most everybody fooled into thinking that he he was better equipped to live under a bridge than handle the pressures of coaching an NFL team.

After 12 years in New England, Belichick's legend has grown. Three Super Bowl championships in four seasons has a way of earning you respect from peers that inexplicable fashion choices can't.

While the cut-off hoodie, Dockers, and Seinfeld-white sneakers continue to serve as a conversation piece for Belichick's critics, the method to his madness goes beyond comfortable outerwear. He's also notoriously boring during press conferences. In fact, the next interesting thing he says to the gathered media throngs will be the first. But that's by design.

Thanks to former Patriot-turned-ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi, we get a peek behind the curtain. During Friday's "NFL Live" show, Bruschi said "We had Belichick, so he really wanted us to keep a lot of things close to the vest. It was the interpretation of veterans on what Belichick wanted through that media [so] I formed my own 'Patriots Rules for Media Engagement.'"
1. Speak for yourself. "That's something Coach Belichick always said -- 'Don't worry about anyone else's situation, on another team or your team, always think about your job, doing your job, and commenting on that."

2. Never talk about injuries. "Never let them know if you're hurt or not hurt."

3. Pour on the perfume. "This is compliments. You want to spray that perfume on your opponent on Wednesday all the way through Saturday, and then get the job done on Sunday."

4. Fall back on cliches. "When in doubt, use the old safe cliche. You love those -- '100 percent', 'one day at a time.'"
Bruschi's joking ... we think, but there's a lot of truth in what he's saying, too.  Either way, it comes down to this: laudatory obfuscation peppered with platitudes. No one -- fans, media, players -- puts much credence into anything Belichick or his players might say in the days leading up to a game. But that's the point: don't give opponents additional incentive to beat you. Not only is Belichick a master at boring observers stupid during press conferences, he has the uncanny knack for finding motivation where there isn't any (Rodney Harrison, and later Tom Brady, were often tasked with delivering that message to a usually incredulous media).

A quick Google search unearthed this 2005 USA Today story about Belichick's love affair with clichés.  "Bill Belichick, besides being a head coach, is cliché coordinator," said Don Powell, a psychologist, sports buff and author of the book 'Best Sports Clichés Ever!'  Nobody is as good as Belichick. But it's more than just Belichick using clichés. It's also him getting his team to buy into the clichés."

Publicly, Belichick rarely breaks character. But when he does, just pray that you're not the target. Prior to Super Bowl XXXIX, former Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell took some shots at the Patriots. After New England won Belichick spoke frankly: "All [Mitchell] does is talk. He's terrible, and you can print that. I was happy when he was in the game."

Freddie Mitchell was never heard from again.

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 12:36 pm

Hot Routes 6.13.11: Nice payday for De Smith

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • The Sports Business Journal reports today that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith made $2.45 million last year and that his current term ends next March. Depending on how this lockout plays out, I wonder if he’ll get much opposition for another term.
  • Before the NFL Draft, Jets RB Shonn Greene didn’t know what the team had planned for him next year. But after coach Rex Ryan announced he would be the main guy in the backfield, Greene said he now knows the kind of confidence his coaches have in him.
  • AEG is doing everything it can to woo a team to Los Angeles, but the Bills are not on the immediate list for relocation. However, the Buffalo News points out that when owner Ralph Wilson dies the organization could be a viable candidate to leave Buffalo.
  • 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is optimistic about the labor situation. He thinks a deal can be done by early July.

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Posted on: June 2, 2011 8:27 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 10:19 am

Pats may not think much of Brandon Tate yet

With R. Moss gone, look for B. Tate to get more attention from opponents (Getty).Posted by Ryan Wilson

It was a surprise when the Patriots took wide receiver Brandon Tate in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft, but Bill Belichick is nothing if not unorthodox. Tate suffered a major knee injury during his senior season at North Carolina, and  reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the 2009 Combine. But he offered size, speed and was an explosive returner. The plan was for him to redshirt his rookie season and contribute in 2010.

Plus, Belichick had made a nice living ignoring conventional wisdom and drafting players he felt best fit New England's scheme. Offensive lineman Logan Mankins (first round, 2005) and Sebastian Vollmer (second round, 2009) are recent examples.

In 10 starts last season, Tate had 24 receptions for 432 yards, including three touchdowns. The totals aren't particularly impressive, but the 18-yards-per-catch average gets your attention. Still, for NFL Films' Greg Cosell, it was clear from watching game tape that the Patriots' staff has concerns about Tate as an NFL wideout.

"Very often, the way players are used tells you how a coaching staff feels about them," Cosell told CSN New England's Tom Curran. "The way the Patriots use Brandon Tate tells that they don't think much of him at this point. He runs about three routes and the only time the ball comes to him is when a play is specifically called for him."

Cosell acknowledges that Tate is "big, he runs well, he's got good lateral quickness," but also points out that, "…in taking the spot of Moss, he was stepping in for someone who was as good a vertical receiver as we've ever seen. Tate has vertical skills but not Randy Moss vertical skills and that's why coverage was different for Tate after Moss left."

This is about what you'd expect from a second-year player getting his first crack at substantial playing time. It's not unusual for coaches to manage their expectations in such circumstances, and Cosell notes that the work stoppage is really hurting Tate's development.

ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss adds that the coaching staff's lack of faith in Tate can be traced back to Tate's inconsistency last season. "One stat that stands out is that he was targeted 46 times and totaled 24 receptions for a 54.3 target percentage, one of the lowest among the team's pass-catchers."

But as always seems to happen, Tom Brady, superhero, will fix everything. Reiss reports that Brady is in New England to lead players-only workouts starting Wednesday. Reiss: "While the value of player-led workouts during the lockout is debatable, many believe chemistry between a quarterback and receiver can grow during the offseason. … Not surprisingly, teammates have responded, according to sources, breaking from their personal workout regimens to join Brady."

The Pats drafted two wide receivers in 2009 -- Tate and seventh-rounder Julian Edelman, a college quarterback from Kent State who moved to wide receiver in the pros and immediately drew comparisons to Wes Welker.

Ultimately, Cosell thinks Edelman has the skills to replace Welker, but warns that Welker is "a very specific kind of player" who "is a function of the entire offense and what's around him."

That was easy to forget when New England was regularly hanging 30-plus points on NFL defenses. Then again, any offense with Brady as its centerpiece is automatically high-powered. Moss was proof of that. He was invisible in Oakland before Brady helped revitalize his career, and his production fell off a cliff after the Pats shipped him to Minnesota last season.

While Tate will benefit from offseason workouts, even informal ones, Patriots will be in good shape at receiver when the labor dispute is settled. Deion Branch joins Welker as a savvy veteran who intimately understands the offense. And tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, rookies a year ago, accounted for 26 percent of all New England receptions in 2010. It's not like 2006, when Brady's top targets were Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell. The Pats' offense is plenty potent, as evidenced by their 14-2 record in 2010.

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Posted on: May 24, 2011 8:20 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 8:44 pm

Hot Routes 5.24.11 Belichick's latest honor

Posted by Will Brinson and Andy Benoit

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Not to be outdone (or wait, actually, they were slightly outdone) were the Raiders, who had 34 players show up for their workouts in Georgia.

Posted on: May 6, 2011 3:53 pm

Rex Ryan says Belichick is AWESOME

R. Ryan had nothing but praise for B. Belichick (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Rex Ryan is a crafty one all right.

Ryan, in the middle of a book tour for his tome, “Play Like You Mean It,” told the YES Network (via the New York Post) that his characterization of the AFC championship game (that it was about Ryan vs. Patriots coach Bill Belichick and that it was “personal”) was a ploy to keep the heat of New York’s 45-3 loss to New England earlier in the season off the team.

Obviously, it worked, because the Jets ended the Patriots season with 28-21 win.

"That whole week, I never wanted it to be about that 45-3 game," Ryan said. "And I knew if I didn't do something, [the media] would be talking about it with our players, and I never wanted that negative thought to creep into their minds.

"There certainly was a method behind it, and I told [Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum] after we win the game, I was gonna say that I was wrong, that it had nothing to do with me and Belichick. Because if it did, Belichick would win, because he's that kind of coach."

Ah, but Ryan wasn’t finished talking about Belichick quite yet.

"I don't think he is [great], I know he is," Ryan said. "He's the best coach that I've ever seen. I know the way he motivates his team, all these types of things … you don't luck into three Super Bowls, and I don't know how many he's had as an assistant coach. This guy is a phenomenal coach."

Now, Ryan forces us to wonder: maybe his effusive praise for Belichick is yet another coaching ploy. Maybe Ryan is just that kind of coach as well.

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Posted on: May 3, 2011 10:44 am
Edited on: May 3, 2011 11:54 am

Ryan Mallett: I'm a lot like Tom Brady

Posted by Will Brinson

The Patriots drafting Ryan Mallett in the third round of the NFL Draft was arguably the biggest surprise of the entire weekend.

When it happened, though, I actually pointed out to some colleagues that, if you take out of all of Tom Brady's success and remove the obvious behavioral differences between Brady and Mallett, they're not so different. Thankfully, someone finally agrees with me. And it's Ryan Mallett, of course.

"I think it’s a perfect fit after watching film with the coaches when I was there. And me and Tom are kind of the same," Mallett said per the Providence Journal. "We’re not fleet of foot, obviously. We don’t run fast. We pick defenses apart and we know what’s going to happen before the snap or we react post snap and that’s why I think I’m like him a lot."

Look, it sounds ridiculous to say "Ryan Mallett is a lot like Tom Brady," because Brady has mad rings, a great-looking wife, beautiful hair and a lot of success in the NFL.

Mallett has a weird voice, apparently lacks the punctuality to arrive on team any time he meets with an NFL team, and has no rings.

But all of their current differences aside, the guy who just left Arkansas and the guy who left Michigan in 2000 aren't really all that totally different, in terms of how they play football.

They both posted really slow 40 times, they're both reasonably sized dudes (Mallett's like 30 pounds heavier, but three inches taller) and they both have big arms.

Is Mallett as accurate as Brady? Well, no. But if rookie Brady was as accurate as 2011 Brady, we wouldn't have to hear about the "Tom Brady pick" when No. 199 rolls around every single year.

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Posted on: May 1, 2011 8:56 pm

Philly and New England's bizarre trade

Posted by Andy Benoit
B. Belichick (US Presswire)
Bill Belichick loves trading draft picks with Andy Reid. In fact, the two have made a trade very year since Belichick took over the Patriots in 2000. Their streak was in jeopardy this past weekend until they hatched a deal swapping sixth-round picks. The trade had the Patriots moving down to pick 194 and the Eagles moving up to pick 193.

In other words, they traded places just for the heck of it.

With the picks, the Eagles chose Ohio State inside linebacker Brian Rolle at 193 and the Patriots selected Central Arkansas outside linebacker Markell Carter at 194. The teams undoubtedly discussed their picks with each other before the trade, with Philly agreeing to steer clear of Carter.

Afterwards, Belichick was Belichickian in talking about the deal. “We talked to the Eagles,” he deadpanned, according to the Boston Herald. “We wanted to make the trade, they wanted to make the trade.”

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Posted on: April 30, 2011 8:39 pm

What the NFL draft taught us

C. Newton will try to make it big in Carolina (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

NEW YORK – Well, the 2011 NFL draft has come and gone. The ESPN and NFL Network sets, the podium and the big-screen TVs can be placed back into storage – along with the 2011 NFL season for now.

That being said, the draft taught us quite a few things about where the organizations are going and, maybe, why they won’t get there. Here are a few observations about what we learned.

1. The Panthers still have no idea about their quarterback situation – and about their direction in general: It feels like Carolina HAD to take Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick, and if the Panthers hadn’t, Newton could have fallen all the way until the middle of the first round. So, Carolina has taken a quarterback in the second round (Jimmy Clausen) and a quarterback in the first round (Newton) in back-to-back years. Are they any better now than they were three days ago? Probably not. Are they actually in a worse spot than they were three days ago? Quite possibly.

2. The Raiders still are too in love with speed:
Their third-round pick (CB DeMarcus Van Dyke) is really fast, but other than that, he has many way too many deficiencies. Their fourth-round pick (CB Chimdi Chekwa) is really fast, but he isn’t a great cover guy. Their second fourth-round pick (RB Taiwan Jones) is really fast, but he’s very brittle. It’s a replay of almost every other season. Which likely means Oakland still isn’t going to be much better than average for the foreseeable future.

3. The Patriots might be the new Bengals: OK, that’s perhaps a bit of a stretch, but maybe could you make the case that Bill Belichick’s arrogance of drafting players with off-the-field issues this year compares to Mike Brown’s indifference of drafting players with off-the-field issues. Either way, the Patriots took QB Ryan Mallett (you know his story well by now) in the third round and TE Lee Smith (who left Tennessee for Marshall after he was arrested on a DUI charge). Now, the Patriots will have to make sure they keep those guys in line. The Bengals haven’t always done such a great job of that, but I think Belichick can manage just fine.

4. Apparently, everything is cool with quarterbacks in Arizona, Seattle and Buffalo: Maybe those front offices forgot they’ll enter 2011 with Derek Anderson/Max Hall/John Skelton and Matt Hasselbeck/Charlie Whitehurst, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, respectively. I kid, I kid. The Bills apparently like Fitzpatrick, and the Cardinals almost certainly will go to free agency to find a QB. Maybe, though, those three teams also subscribed to the theory that this year’s quarterback class wasn’t really all that tremendous and decided to try another route to fill the needs of their team.

5.Maybe teams should look more toward the north part of the South for pro prospects:
Nine (!) North Carolina players were drafted (that’s right; I double-checked), six Clemson players were taken (and Da’Quan Bowers was only the third picked!), and, hell, even three Appalachian State players were nabbed. Why, then, were the Tigers and the Tar Heels a combined 14-12?

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com