FOXBORO, Mass. — If New England Patriots players wants to hear a compliment from their head coach, they’ll have to search their names on Google.
Bill Belichick doesn’t directly hand out praise to his players, though he’s quick to give acclaim when asked by the media. Belichick raved about Rob Gronkowski in his press conference Wednesday, but the big tight end isn’t hearing the same encouragement during practice or meetings.
“No, he definitely only does it for you guys,” Gronkowski said. “Coming from him, it’s definitely flattering, getting such high praise from coach. I have the most outright respect for him and everything he does and his coaching abilities, which are the top. Everything he says, you want to listen to, because it’s always a good coaching point. I love listening to him and taking what I have and bringing it out on the field and doing what I gotta do.”
Belichick isn’t just snubbing Gronkowski. Defensive captain Devin McCourty agreed that Belichick isn’t quick to hand out praise.
“Me personally? Not really,” McCourty said. “He kind of sticks to the script.”
Belichick heaped praise upon McCourty on Wednesday in a conference call with the Jacksonville media.
“Devin has done a good job for us,” Belichick said. “Came into the league as a corner, so he has coverage responsibilities at various times and his range and speed to patrol the deep part of the field, tackle, Devin is a very smart player so in terms of making adjustments and communication back there, he does a great job of that.
“We?re really fortunate to have Devin. Devin has played a lot of good football for us and continues to do that. He?s one of our most durable and dependable players game-in and game-out, year-in and year-out in a variety of assignments, whether it?s at corner or at safety or some other matchup position in the game plan, returning kickoffs, covering kicks. He creates a lot of value and a lot of depth and a lot of versatility for our team. And he?s a great kid and a team captain multiple years. He gives us great leadership and communication.”
Belichick’s mode of motivation certainly works, so there’s no need to start babying his players to their faces now.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images