“Do your job,” the mantra Bill Belichick preaches to all of his players, can be applied to virtually every profession.
For ex-Patriots players who have pivoted to the media, this sometimes means being hard on their former head coach. Belichick, however, has no issue with the criticism.
A number of players who have come through New England now are doing very well for themselves as NFL analysts. This includes the likes of Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Rob Ninkovich and Randy Moss. And as Harrison recently explained to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Belichick doesn’t take it personally when he catches flak from his former players.
“I was just up there for the Patriots Hall of Fame (in 2019), and Belichick told me and Willie McGinest, ‘Look, if you guys have to criticize me, I understand it. You have a job to do,'” Harrison told Reiss. “I was like, ‘Coach, I have no problem with that!’ It was nice for him to say that, because somebody that gave me an opportunity, who really believed in you, the last thing you want to do is criticize him. But I had to do my job.”
There were more opportunities than usual to criticize Belichick last season when the Patriots posted a sub-.500 record for the first time since 2000. But following New England’s productive free agency spending spree and draft slate, Harrison and Co. might be doing more praising of Belichick in 2021.