Seldomly does Bill Belichick say anything that truly surprises anyone in press conferences.
In fact, it’s typically the opposite, with relentlessly predictable lines about everyone doing their job for the good of the football team.
His comments about selling out for Super Bowls were so unusual that some around the league are questioning if that transparency is just a front. Because let’s be serious, that would be very on-brand for Belichick, who always has something up his cut-off sleeves.
Check out some reaction from anonymous NFL executives and coaches, as reported by The Athletic’s Mike Sando:
Former head coach: “I saw that and I thought, why is it out there? Bill never would put anything like that out there, and all of a sudden it’s out there. Something is weird.”
Executive: “It seemed very un-Belichickian to say what he said. You are the coach and GM. You have made all these decisions unless there is a veiled message, which could make you think about what they’ve spent.”
Veteran coach: “Bill is saving up for next year and blowing smoke and hoping people believe him, crying poor, whatever. There is nothing to it. He knows it. They got stuck when Brady called their bluff and left. They didn’t improve the team and Brady said he’s out, going to go get some sunshine, bring his boy Gronk out (to Tampa Bay), have some drinks with the head coach and have some fun and call it a career.”
Executive: “Who do they have on their team right now who would start as a weapon for any other team in the NFL? (Julian) Edelman maybe as a slot receiver? That’s it.”
Executive: “I have always wondered if they just decided to tank this year, especially once they had the opt-outs.”
Executive: “Belichick has really run it tight economically whether it’s been players or staff or coaches and I think that has probably finally caught up to them. The cap is an excuse. The cap to me is hiding really that they haven’t spent cash. And it’s not just players. I wonder to some degree whether they’ve had a little bit of a brain drain. Everybody focuses on the coaches who have left not being successful, but (Titans GM) Jon Robinson, (Bucs GM) Jason Licht and all these other guys have left also.”
Executive: “You pay nothing, you get a compensatory pick and Cam was fool’s gold anyway. People were like, ‘Oh my God, all these other teams did not sign Cam.’ OK, Cam was not signing with the Broncos to be their backup. My hunch is, Belichick would much rather tear it down and rebuild it quickly than try to hang on for a few years at 9-7.”
Leave it to Belichick to confuse everyone.