Mash media: Bill Belichick’s most memorable press conferences
|07.24.13 at 11:17 am ET|
While Wednesday’s press conference with Bill Belichick could be one of the most anticipated in recent memory, it has a long way to go if it wants a spot in the pantheon of the most memorable Belichick pressers. Since 2000, here are his seven most memorable gatherings with the media.
Jan. 4, 2000 – In terms of drama, surreal tone and overall reaction — remember, this caught most of the Jets brass by surprise — this one gets top honors. It was believed by most that Belichick was a slam dunk to follow Bill Parcells and take over as coach in New York. Instead, the day after Parcells stepped down, Belichick said he was wasn’t taking the job, read a statement and then went on a rambling monologue that lasted 30 minutes. (After the press conference, bewildered Jets president Steve Gutman questioned Belichick’s mental health, saying he was “obviously in some turmoil.”) After a brief tug-of-war between New York and New England, Belichick was named coach of the Patriots. The rest is history.
Nov. 21, 2001 – Belichick stood before the assembled media in Foxboro and with Drew Bledsoe medically cleared to play, named Tom Brady his starter for the foreseeable future. “It is what it is. Nobody scripted it this way. It just worked out that way. My job — I have been here for two years — my job is to make the best decisions for the football team, and that’s what I am going to do. I am going to make the best decisions I can for the football team,” Belichick said of his decision. “T-E-A-M, as in team. I can’t make them for an individual or a group. I have to do what’s best for the entire team.”
Sept. 2, 2003 – In the days before the start of the 2003 season, Belichick and the Patriots released veteran safety Lawyer Milloy. Forty of the 45 questions Belichick took were in regard to Milloy, the decision and where the team would go from that point on. “This is a player and a person that I have immense respect for, and means a lot to this team and this organization. It is just unfortunate that this was kind of a casualty of the way the system is right now,” Belichick said. “Of all of the players that I have released in my career this easily would be the hardest. It’s an unfortunate situation all the way around, but one that we’ve made and we will have to move forward with.”
Sept. 12, 2007 – In the days following the revelation that the Patriots were part of a videotaping scandal, Belichick issued a statement shortly before his daily press conference. “Although it remains a league matter, I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff and players. Following the league’s decision, I will have further comment.” In his meeting with the media, Belichick deflected all questions about the probe, and at one point asked if there would be any inquiries about that week’s opponent, San Diego. ‘Are there any questions about the Chargers? Want to talk about the football game?’ When pressed, Belichick walked out.
Oct. 28, 2007 – In the wake of a 52-7 thumping of the Redskins, Belichick was asked about going for it on fourth down while holding a big lead. The Patriots coach shrugged and said, “What do you want us to do, kick a field goal?” The singular question captured the attitude of the 2007 team, a take-no-prisoners squad that came within one game of a perfect season.
Feb. 22, 2009 — Probably the least-remembered presser on this list, Belichick managed to talk for 22 minutes in a league-mandated appearance at the combine that featured a nearly 15-minute filibuster at the top that would have made a senator proud.
June 11, 2013: Shortly after the Patriots acquired Tim Tebow, the Patriots coach took questions as part of a minicamp presser. In a nine-minute session with the media, he choked off any discussion about the pickup of the backup quarterback. After a series of questions about Tebow, his impact on the franchise, what position he might play and how long it might take for him to learn the system, Belichick effectively ended the discussion with, “I think we’ve already talked enough about him.”