Bill Belichick obviously knows the importance of strength, speed and skill at the NFL level, but the New England Patriots head coach also puts plenty of value on the intangibles.
Belichick and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer have been friends for a long time, and Belichick clearly values Meyer’s opinion and the players he has coached.
The Patriots have drafted a handful of Meyer’s players in recent years and have been linked to players they didn’t select. Belichick unsurprisingly picks Meyer’s brain about two very important traits for players coming out of Ohio State.
“For example, Bill Belichick will come in,” Meyer explained to prospective college players at a football academy over the weekend, “and he’ll ask me two questions: ‘What kind of teammate is he, and how does he perform in the big games?’
“He doesn’t ask me how he runs around in shorts and T-shirts and what’s his (40-yard dash) time and those types of things.”
Meyer went on to explain he looks for the same things, too, when sorting through potential recruits. When things get tough, Meyer said he wants to know how a player reacts and how he acts as a teammate in those situations.
“I have no desire to watch a game when you beat the hell out of someone 40-0,” Meyer continued. “I quit watching. I don’t want to see that. I want to see you in a rivalry game. I want to see you on fourth down when you perform on fourth down when the team needs you.”
It’s interesting look not only into the mind of Meyer — one of the most successful college coaches of a generation — but Belichick, too.
It also gives you a little insight on what drove Belichick and the Patriots to draft Brady all the way back in 2000. Brady long has been applauded for being a great teammate, so we know he checked the box. But the legendary quarterback also proved he could perform well in the big game, ending his career with wins over Penn State (erasing a 10-point lead in the final minutes), Ohio State and Alabama.
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