This…was a different Bill Belichick. At least, from the one we see publicly.
Addressing the media for the first time since the murder investigation surrounding their former tight end, the head coach of the New England Patriots showed a side of himself we
rarely ever see.
Belichick opened by saying he thought it was important to address the Aaron Hernandez situation before the start of training camp. It was the only time he referred to Hernandez by name. After that, he was just a “player.”
The coach called it “a sad day, on so many levels,” saying he found out about the investigation when he was out of the country and that it left him “shocked and disappointed.”
He reached out to the family of the victim, Odin Lloyd, sending thoughts and prayers to them and anyone else who had been impacted by the tragedy.
And Bill Belichick also took responsibility, saying that as coach he is “primarily responsible” for the players they bring in. He stressed the extensive evaluation process the Patriots use, but admitted it was “far from perfect.”
“We try to look at every single situation on a case-by-case basis and try to do what’s best for the football team and what’s best for the franchise. Most of those decisions have worked out, but some don’t.” -Bill Belichick
Calling it a “terrible experience,” Belichick vowed the Patriots would learn from it and use it to become a better team.
This was a different Bill Belichick press conference. He admitted feeling personally disappointed and hurt. He showed sorrow and evoked sympathy. He was honest, humble, and straightforward throughout.
A different Bill Belichick…or a different Bill Belichick press conference?
That remains to be seen.
But, I know one thing…
I like this guy. I’m pulling for this guy…and his team.
And that’s something I never said about the old Bill Belichick.