Had the Patriots kept playing beyond Week 18 this season, Bill Belichick might have spent time sifting through NFL archives in hopes of giving his players some extra juice.
Julian Edelman, who reached the playoffs in 11 of his 12 seasons with New England, shed light on this motivational strategy used by his former head coach on a recent “Pardon My Take” appearance. Belichick is a devoted student of the game, so his approach shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s familiar with the longtime Patriots head coach.
“He would give us highlight clips, like a cut-up of old situations of that same situation,” Edelman said, as transcribed by WEEI. “Or old games of that game. Like, not even Patriots (expletive). He would show us New York Giants. Like, ‘This is how you do it. Watch (Lawrence Taylor)!’ “
According to Edelman, Belichick also would single out individual players.
“He would bring in all these clips and give a breakdown and then he would have a speech,” the former Patriots wideout said. “He would point guys out like, ‘Matthew Slater, no one ever wanted you. You weren’t even supposed to be drafted.’ “
Speaking of Slater, his course of action following the end of New England’s 2022 season suggests the special teams legend isn’t settled on retiring yet.