Sean McVay Reached Out To Patriots, Bill Belichick About Laughing Video

'I wish that it wouldn't have gotten misunderstood'

by

April 30

Fair or not, the video of Sean McVay reacting after the Patriots drafted Cole Strange was seen as emblematic of how the NFL feels about New England’s first-round decision. The clip got a ton of play on sports talk radio Friday, and was used as a springboard for hot-take analysis.

In case you missed it, McVay and Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead both laughed upon learning of the Patriots using the 29th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Strange, an interior offensive lineman out of Chattanooga. McVay, for whatever reason, cracked up over having scouted Strange as a potential pick at No. 104, only to see him go in the first round.

The clip, admittedly open to interpretation, is a bad look for the Patriots. Such is the reality of sports Twitter and sports talking-head culture.

However, after the conclusion of Round 3, Snead, who wound up taking guard Logan Bruss with the 104th pick, revealed that McVay reached out to Strange and Belichick to set the record straight.

“I wanna say, I think this should be said,” Snead said, ” … Because of how that video went viral, in fun — that was the chemistry between us going through this process trying to evaluate. But I know Sean talked to Cole this morning, did talk to Coach Belichick this morning, just to say, ‘Hey, there was nothing — we really like that player.’

“Sean was just in jest at (me) for, ‘Hey, why did we waste our time on him again?’ And I can say this … A long time ago, I forget when it was, but the New England Patriots drafted a guy by the name of Logan Mankins from right up the road in Fresno. Was a left tackle, they moved him inside. And about 10 years later he had a lot of Pro Bowls, Super Bowls. So, I think that’s a very, very similar pick for those guys.”

(Mankins, by the way, never won a Super Bowl during his NFL career, but did play in two.)

McVay added: “What I would add to that is, I wish that it wouldn’t have gotten misunderstood. It was more of a reflection of — I was actually giving Les some (expletive) because, when we started watching him, I think we both were in agreement there’s no way he’d be (available at No. 104) because we like the player so much. And, if there’s anybody that has more respect for Coach Belichick, what he’s done, than I do, then I’d like to see him because I have tremendous respect for this profession, for the players that play at this level, and I would never want it to get misunderstood for Cole Strange or the Patriots organization, that anything but respect for the player. That was my reaction, and any misunderstanding was my fault for the way that I probably communicated that.”

Whether those comments are genuine, or an attempt at damage control, might be up for debate. Either way, it’s fair to say too much has been made of the video, which is more amusing than damning.

Nevertheless, the clip has been used as ammunition for those looking to admonish Belichick and others inside the Patriots draft room. And, if you listen to what director of player personnel Matt Groh said late Friday night, it’s clear he, and perhaps Belichick, have heard some of the criticism.

The NFL draft will resume Saturday with Rounds 4 through 7. The Patriots currently are set to make three selections in the fourth round, three in the sixth and one in the seventh.

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