Bill Belichick arrived in New England back in 2000, the same year that a certain NFL 199th overall pick by the name of Tom Brady was drafted. 20 years later, the dynamic duo has combined to win six Lombardi trophies and set countless league records. Now, with the latter’s departure to Tampa Bay, coach Belichick is handed another challenge in New England.
Mind you, Belichick had just one losing season in 20 years as head coach of the Pats. This came in his first season in 2000. Belichick was the coach when Brady and Co. became the first NFL team to go the entire regular season undefeated. Here’s what the NFL veteran had to say about his side’s chances ahead of the 2020 season.
“I feel very good about the environment that we’re in. I feel fine. I guess we’ll see. Yesterday was the first day that we had a walk-through with both the offense and defense on the field at the same time, so prior to yesterday we were defense against defense, offense against offense.
“Yesterday was our first chance to do that. I would say it looked to me like all the coaches coached and the players played pretty much like we always do other than masks and some other modifications, things like that. Nah, I didn’t see any substantial difference,” Belichick told CBS reporters.
A lot of issues regarding Brady’s exit, roster opt-outs, and player recruitment struggles make this year as one of the toughest for coach Belichick since joining the Pats in 2000. His success has largely been attributed to the rise of Tom Brady as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL.
Arguably, the Patriots have been the team to suffer the major consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A total of eight New England players have decided to sit out of the upcoming season due to personal health concerns. Regardless, Belichick cites the league is doing everything they can to curb the spread of the virus.
“You know, honestly, I wouldn’t say any of it has just been overwhelming. We wear masks, there’s not a buffet line for food, the food’s ordered, it’s boxed and packaged. The dining staff has done a great job. The meetings are in bigger rooms, we’re more spread out. But essentially it’s the same meeting, we’re just distanced and wearing masks. I think everybody’s just a little more conscious of the hand-washing, the sanitizing, the distancing, you know we wear monitors and all that.
“There’s just a higher awareness of it, but, I mean fundamentally we’re still going over the material, the same material in a similar progression. We have walk-throughs, we have meetings, we have training and conditioning. We’re gonna eventually have individual drills when we get to Phase Two. Then we’re gonna get to Phase Three and have 11-on-11 drills. I don’t think it’s monumental, but certainly, there are adjustments. None of which I would say are particularly inhibiting,” Belichick added.