Belichick is Belichick at NFL Coaches Breakfast

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t at once veer from what we have come to expect from him during a 43-minute media session on Tuesday. Belichick delivered the bore-a-thon at the NFL Coaches Breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore. It was hard to watch. It was difficult to listen to. There were 1,790 words and 116 questions, with Belichick offering 13 “I don’t knows” and 21 “We’ll sees”. Those calculations are courtesy of Jeff Howe from the Athletic.

Bill Belichick, of course, is the most successful coach in the history of the NFL. If you're into sports betting and fancied a flutter on the Super Bowl, you'd be hard pressed to find a site making any team favorite that isn't called the New England Patriots. Not while Belichick is in charge of the team, anyway. Yet he forgets more about the game he excels at coaching in after one night’s sleep than you or I could ever hope to know in our entire lifetime. When it comes to his media sessions, they aren’t at all productive. They’re incredibly boring, in fact. It’s just the way it is. It's just the way Belichick is. And it isn’t something any reporter should take personally.

Sure, at the Super Bowl, we had a more insightful, open, and direct Belichick than we did for this event. The difference is that he views the hype around the Super Bowl as a moment he has earned. It’s about the game itself, the coaches, and the players.

The owners meetings are seven days of chatting and schmoozing in which money and new initiatives are talked about endlessly by NFLers who work around the game but not actually “in” it. The game isn’t the end product. This is where that end product is messed with.

It’s almost as if Belichick has been living in a certain neighborhood for his whole life but that neighborhood has been more and more gentrified and those who are doing that gentrifying insist that he turn up once a year to offer his wisdom to everyone in attendance at the association meeting. For anyone who knows anything at all about Belichick, that’s one ball game he isn’t willing to play.

Another reason for his lack of interest likely stems from the fact that the offseason discussion generally revolves around speculation. And Belichick isn’t a fan of that, either. So any questions as to when the Pats will redo Tom Brady’s contract or how much longer he’ll coach the team or how they’ll make up for the loss of a player or two are chopped down, one by one.

Not once did Belichick take a seat during the session. One reason could be that he simply has a distaste for microphones, phones, and tape recorders sat underneath his face, and dislikes it even more when people walk over to his table and place recorders in front of him midway through the session before picking them up and walking off just minutes later.

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