Bill Belichick is one of the preeminent coaches in the NFL, but he rarely shows what’s beneath the surface. You can catch a glimpse of his inner makeup as the son of a coach on historical topics, but on most else, you get next to nothing, all delivered in a monotone tune.
Belichick is equally notorious as a master motivator, using rallying calls and an us-against-the-world mantra as he finds different tactics to motivate the Patriots. You can’t forget his speech leading up to Super Bowl XXXIX against the Eagles when he detailed the planned parade route through Philadelphia to his team.
In another glimpse at Belichick behind the scenes, Ian R. Rapoport of the Boston Herald spoke to several Patriots about the message Belichick delivered before Monday night’s 41-14 rout of the Dolphins. By Rapoport’s account, it went something like this:
No one wants you. You couldn’t play for any other team. You are losers.
You are the underdogs, according to every media outlet, and you should be.
Per Rapoport, players shied away from sharing details of the speech. But other motivational muses have come to light. Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England notes Gary Guyton wore a T-shirt that read “heart haters.” Tom Brady revealed during his weekly radio interview on WEEI that Belichick pointed out to the team an entire panel of experts in the team publication Patriots Football Weekly had picked against them. That led to an angry Vince Wilfork, and later a long explanation on his frustration.
Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe passed along an interesting bit from Belichick’s conference call about using outside influences as motivation.
Belichick downplays the motivation angle as overrated, but after a game in which Brandon Tate, Danny Woodhead, Patrick Chung, Rob Ninkovich, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Kyle Arrington were the stars, it left Alge Crumper to say it was the “greatest team effort I’ve been part of in my 10-year career.”
It all seems to have worked. And it makes a great look at the behind-the-scenes tapestry woven by Belichick.
– Frank Tadych