In perhaps the upset of the century, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t misidentify the names of any apps in Monday’s conference call.
The technologically challenged head coach didn’t drop any “Zoomtime” or “Facechat” jokes Monday. He even called “FaceTime” by its correct name. It seems like Belichick doesn’t mind the limitations the coronavirus has caused the draft process. Or, if he does, he’s certainly not complaining about it.
The Patriots haven’t been able to host prospects on visits since early in the pre-draft process. Most pro days were canceled, as well. The Patriots have worked through it all.
“Itâs a little bit different than the way weâve done it in the past with the 30 visits and the pro days and so forth, but all the teams are working with the same constraints,” Belichick said. “So, in fact, we probably talk to as many if not more players than we have in the past when youâre not traveling and youâre just sitting at a desk or sitting in a room, wherever we are.
“Itâs easier to make a lot of phone calls and get in contact with people rather than sometimes visit a place and just see the people that are there, even though those visits are valuable and youâre able to get into more of an in-depth conversation and evaluation there. So, we certainly have logged a lot of phone time and FaceTime and whatever video conferencing and so forth. You know, again, I think, for the most part, weâve all adjusted to that and tried to take advantage of the opportunity that we have to do those things.”
Belichick said the Patriots have “probably seen a little more” film on prospects than in years past. Part of that is because of the Patriots’ early playoff exit. They had an extra month to prepare for the draft since the Patriots didn’t play in this year’s Super Bowl.
Belichick is even getting used to the technology he’s learning, though he can’t say he’s mastered it yet. He credited Patriots IT specialist Dan Famosi with helping expedite the process.
“But Iâm certainly better at it than I was four weeks ago,” Belichick said. “I mean, I didnât know what half of this was. But, at least now I can do more than I did, letâs put it that way. So, I get a little better every day — learn a new button or learn a new thing to click on and see what trick that does. So, yeah, itâs been very, very educational as a first floor, maybe even the basement – Iâve lived below the first floor. Yeah, itâs been interesting to get educated on different technologies.”
Some teams reportedly wanted to postpone the 2020 NFL Draft because of the challenges posed by COVID-19. Belichick isn’t making any excuses for his Patriots. In fact, they’ve talked to more players and watched more film than usual. It seems the quarantine is going well in New England.