This week, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wrapped up the team’s voluntary OTAs a little early as a little treat, and he also set up an off-the-field activity for his players. (Maybe that’s the damage control required when a former player says it sucked to play for you and trade rumors about one of your best players are floating around.) Part of the Pats’ stadium was turned into an exhibit on the “wide-ranging history of football,” according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. A bunch of players who declined to be named found it to be “fun.”
It’s hard to not be convinced by these quotes from anonymous players:
“It was a lot of fun. We walked in and you could tell something different was going on than the normal practice day,” explained one player.
“The thing I’ve learned about Coach Belichick is that he loves history, loves the military, and any time he can incorporate teaching us about that, he loves to do it,” said one player who took part in Tuesday’s turn-back-the-clock day.
“It was cool for him to get a chance to teach us about the sport that we’re in, the National Football League and kind of how it started. We got to watch some old clips from football back then — the ‘30s and ‘40s — that I had never seen before. I didn’t know what type of offenses were run, so it was really neat to see. We even looked at high school football back then, all the way up to NFL.”
“You think about it, if it was at a certain time back then, a lot of us wouldn’t be playing. We would have been drafted and fighting for our country [in World War II],” said a player. “When we do stuff like that, it’s special.”
About that anonymity: Does no player want to attach his name to the belief that Bill Belichick can do something fun? Did these quotes actually come from Bob Kraft dressed in pads? As Reiss explained to someone asking, players want to avoid punishment ... for saying something about their job was fun.
Doesn’t actually seem that fun!