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Bill Belichick on S&H: ‘I don’t think I’ve really ever had that [hazing] problem with a team’

11.12.13 at 12:40 pm ET
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Salk & Holley on Monday afternoon to discuss New England’s upcoming game against the Panthers, as well as the topic of hazing in the NFL.

The situation involving Dolphins offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito is still a hot topic across the league, as more details are revealed with each passing day.

‘€œI really have a hard time with any kind of judgment on [the Miami situation] because I’€™m not there,” Belichick said. “When you’€™re not in the locker room you don’€™t know how things are done in that environment — what’€™s a joke, what’€™s serious, what the interactions are. I really think it’€™s hard for any of us who aren’€™t a member of that team to really pass a judgment on what was said, how it was taken, what was accepted, what wasn’€™t and all that.

“I know there are a lot of opinions on the whole Miami thing, but I’€™m not one that has one, just because I don’€™t feel like I have enough knowledge or information about the situation to have an intelligent one.”

Belichick said he does recall any serious problem with hazing with any of the teams that he has coached.

“I don’€™t think I’€™ve really ever had that problem with a team,” Belichick said. “I think a lot of it is with the veteran players and how they handle their teammates in the locker room, but every once in a while, if you kind of see something going in a direction you don’€™t like, then as a coach you have to step in and do something. There have been a couple of little minor things like that, a couple of times during the course of my career, but really not too much.

“When you’€™re part of a team there is always something that you sort of need to do as a rite of passage to be a part of that team. … There are just things you need to do to become part of a group, and for the group to accept you. I just consider that part of being a team, part of joining a team. We’€™ve all done it. I think there’€™s that element, and then obviously there’s another part of it that’€™s going too far. I’€™m not talking about that. … So I think there is some of that, but crossing the line where it becomes personal and offensive, that’€™s a whole different story. I haven’€™t witnessed or been around a lot of that.”

Added Belichick: ‘€œI’€™m fortunate. I’€™ve had a lot of great captains through my time here with the Patriots. Those guys are not only great players and great leaders and workers, but they also have a very good sense of what’€™s right and what’€™s wrong for the group, for the team in the locker room. A lot of times they can see things that are potentially coming over the horizon that are better to address before they become a problem than after something happens and then there’s hard feelings or maybe a misinterpretation of something.”

The Patriots will have a tough test coming out of the bye week, as they will head down to Charlotte to face the surprising 6-3 Panthers on Monday night. Carolina has won five games in a row, including Sunday’s 10-9 victory over the 49ers, thanks in large part to a stifling defensive unit that has held opponents to just 12.8 points per game this year.

“They’ve really done a good job in the last month or so everywhere,” Belichick said. “They’ve been scoring. I know they only got 10 against San Francisco, but they’ve been in the 30s quite a bit. Defensively, they have a good front, they take the ball away, they have a lot of turnovers and they do a good job in the red area, so they’re just a good team in all phases. … They’re a solid team, they’re well coached, they’re fundamentally sound, they don’t give you a lot of easy plays, they don’t beat themselves.”

To hear the interview, go to the Salk & Holley audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Carolina Panthers, Hazing, Miami Dolphins
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