Why Bill Belichick Gave Patriots Players ‘Snow Speech’ In Team Meeting

'I don't want to be that guy'


January 6

Bill Belichick dedicated a portion of the New England Patriots’ Thursday morning meeting to a subject that had nothing to do with football.

With a winter storm set to hit the Foxboro, Mass., area late Thursday night and into Friday, it was time for the “snow speech,” in which Belichick reminded his players — especially those who are new to New England — that slick roads and unplowed driveways are not valid excuses for tardiness.

“You must have been in our meeting this morning,” defensive tackle Davon Godchaux said Thursday when asked about the forecast. “Just talking about getting ready for the snow. I live in an apartment complex right now, so I’m sure they’ll have all that under control (Friday) when I wake up. But I plan on waking up like an hour ahead and defrosting my windows and leaving early. I’ve never been in a snow drive on the way to the practice facility, so I look forward to seeing that (Friday). I’ve got to get up early and make sure I don’t be late to meetings and (be) on time.

“(Belichick) already gave us the snow speech, so I don’t want to be that guy.”

The most infamous example of players not heeding Belichick’s warning came in 2009, when Adalius Thomas, Randy Moss, Gary Guyton and Derrick Burgess were sent home after showing up late on a snowy morning. Godchaux, a Louisiana native who played his first four NFL seasons in Miami, does not want the same fate to befall him.

Fellow Patriots newcomer Matthew Judon played his college ball in Grand Rapids, Mich., so he’s no stranger to wintery conditions. But he still plans to wake up early on Friday, just in case.

“I’ve just got to get in my car and drive and make sure I’m there,” Judon said. “Just set an alarm clock 30 minutes earlier so that you can warm your car up or whatever that is. The people from the southern states, they’ve got it lucky. They don’t get no snow. But I’ve been kind of dealing with snow my whole life, so I think I’ll be all right.”

The Patriots will travel to one of those southern states this weekend, closing out the regular season with a road date with the Dolphins. Sunday’s forecast for Miami calls for temperatures in the 70s with a 40% chance of rain.

Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bruce Arians
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