Bill Belichick expects the best out of all of his players — even the surefire Hall of Famers, it seems.
The New England Patriots head coach is known for a maniacal tendency to pay attention to details, as was evidenced in a revealing ESPN the Magazine oral history about the coach’s career.
As the story reveals, Belichick is an equal-opportunity kind of guy when it comes to getting on his players if their play doesn’t live up to his lofty expectations. That includes four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady, according to the ESPN story.
“Once, in practice,” former Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib recalled, “Brady threw a seam ball that was intercepted, and Bill, man, he chewed Tom out, saying, ‘You got 130 career interceptions,’ or whatever it was, ‘and half of them are on this route. You keep doing the same s— over and over and this is what happens.’
“Right then you know two things about the Patriots and Bill Belichick: Everybody is treated the same, and you better get your s— together.”
Patriots Hall of Famer Kevin Faulk, beloved by Belichick and a longtime teammate of Brady, recalled a similar story.
“I loved when Bill would yell at Tom Brady and say, ‘Hey, Tom, I could go get the quarterback at Foxboro High to do it better than that,’ ” Faulk said.
And sometimes, even the coaching staff took heat from Belichick during practice.
“Any time something bad happened at practice, the two words you don’t ever want to hear come out of his mouth are ‘Take off,'” former Patriots linebacker Roosevelt Colvin told ESPN. “That Bill-ism means just get out of his sight and run a lap around the field. If he was really pissed off, he’d yell ‘Take off,’ wait a few seconds and then add ‘Everybody!’ and that meant coaches included, even the old guys and heavy guys. We’d all circle back, inching up, hoping not to hear ‘Keeeeep going.'”
It’s that kind of accountability from everyone on the roster that’s among the many reasons Belichick evolved into one of the best coaches of all time.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images
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