FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick’s familiar “Do Your Job” mantra is gospel in New England, and Patriots fans now must have faith in the head coach’s ability to, well, do his job.
Predictably, Belichick didn’t reveal much in his first press conference since the Patriots traded star linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns for a draft pick earlier this week.
The head coach uttered another familiar phrase — he’s doing what he think is best for the football team — while attempting to deflect questions about the trade, pointing the assembled media to a radio interview he did earlier this week.
“It’s a much longer conversation, and I summed it up, and that’s the summary of it,” Belichick said Wednesday before repeatedly referring to the transcript of the WEEI interview Monday afternoon.
“We’ve already covered it, and it was a bottom-line decision and that’s what it was,” Belichick said. “I’m not going to talk about the 500 things that could be talked about related to it; it’s too long, too cumbersome of a conversation.”
Relatively jaw-dropping transactions are a hallmark of the Belichick era in New England. He’s never afraid to cut bait and move players before their production drops off, either by trade or by letting the player walk in free agency. What made the Collins trade legitimately shocking, however, was that it happened during the season.
The sudden nature of the trade might make things a little uncomfortable in the Patriots’ locker room. While Patriots players toed the company line Tuesday when talking about the trade, most used words like “surprised” or even “shocked.”
If that’s an aspect of this deal that Belichick took into account, he made it clear he’s not going to publicly admit as much.
“Unfortunately, that’s part of this business,” Belichick explained Wednesday. “I’m sure of lot of you don’t want to take into consideration other moves that were made on the roster, but they affect everybody. It might be a guy who isn’t a big guy on your radar, but to a teammate who’s close to him, it is a big move. So I recognize that, I understand that and I appreciate that. But again, in the end, my responsibility is to the football team.
“… I know you wanna focus on the bigger names if you will, which is fine. I understand that. But all of the players on the team are important. They’re important to their teammates. They’re important to the organization. Anything that affects any individual on the team is important, not just to three or four we want to single out because whatever their star power is. I’m not minimizing that, but things affect all players on the team, not just the few names who are mentioned.”
As for those wondering how the Patriots will be a better team in two weeks when they come out of a bye to face the Seattle Seahawks, well, they’ll again be putting their faith into Belichick’s track record.
“It’s my professional judgment,” Belichick said.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images