CLEVELAND — Brenden Schooler got a bit out over his skis Sunday afternoon, and the internet made him pay for it.
After recovering a muffed punt late in the Patriots 38-15 win over the Browns in Cleveland, Schooler attempted to hand the ball to New England head coach Bill Belichick. But Belichick refused while looking utterly disinterested in the rookie special teamer’s gesture.
The hilarious moment quickly went viral.
Schooler was asked about the exchange after the game.
“I was just trying to … it was obviously a big game for him coming back to Cleveland,” a laughing Schooler told NESN.com in the Patriots locker room. “So, just a nice gesture: ‘Here’s the game ball.’ But I think I was a little too excited and should’ve waited until after.”
Was Schooler also trying to honor Belichick on a day in which he tied George Halas for second place on the NFL’s all-time head coaching wins list?
“I think it’s a little bit of everything,” Schooler said. “And it’s just like, you know, you obviously want to win on the road especially. It’s a big win on the road for us. It just happened to be in Cleveland this week. So, just trying to, you know, know the situation.”
Schooler, again cracking up, added: “But I think I should’ve waited a couple of minutes to go give it to him.”
Schooler’s excitement was warranted. New England now has won two straight games with rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe filling in for Mac Jones and stands 3-3 through the first six weeks.
As for Schooler, Sunday’s muffed punt recovery was his second of the season, with the first coming in Week 2 after Gunner Olszewski put the ball on the ground late in New England’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Schooler, Belichick and the rest of the Patriots will look to make it three straight wins when they host the Chicago Bears in the Week 7 edition of “Monday Night Football.”