Bill Belichick felt he was unfair to reporters after the New England Patriots’ 27-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. It was the Patriots’ first loss since Oct. 17 to the Dallas Cowboys, and that came in overtime.
Saturday, Belichick’s Patriots were thoroughly dominated by the Colts. They were down 20-0 until the first play of the fourth quarter. Belichick, who is never loquacious during press conferences, was especially curt that day.
Fortunately, Belichick had the good sense to begin the postgame presser by sending his “sympathies” to Colts center Ryan Kelly and his family. Kelly missed the game after he and his wife tragically lost their unborn child after a 19-week pregnancy.
Following those few seconds of kindness, It was straight “we’re on to Cincinnati” for the remainder of the press conference. His opening remarks about the game were: “We didn’t do anything well enough to win. We didn’t play well, didn’t coach well, too many penalties, fumbles, interceptions, [gave up] over 200 yards rushing, played from behind the whole game.”
That was all Belichick had for the media on Saturday night, it didn’t matter if he was asked the name of their next opponent, what he ate for the post-game meal, or if he believes that the recently released Spider-Man: No Way Home is indeed the best Spider-Man movie, the media was getting nothing out of Belichick except, “we didn’t do anything well.” At one point, Belichick even noted, “I’ve said it like five times. I could just say it another five times.”
He was not happy, but it appears that Belichick has been working on himself. He began his Monday press conference with an apology for Saturday’s.
“Look, fellas, I apologize if it seemed like I was a little short with you after the game,” Belichick said to the media. “Obviously [it was] a frustrating game. Down 20 to nothing, didn’t do anything well enough. I mean there really isn’t much to say at that point without watching the film. Clearly we had problems in every area. …
“It’s not your fault. It was a frustrating game.”
Not only did he give an apology for what felt like a Belichick special with fries and a drink, he actually explained some of what he was thinking during the game. When asked why, in the fourth quarter, he chose to kick a field goal on 4th and goal from the Colts’ seven-yard line instead of trying to score the touchdown and make it 20-13 at minimum, Belichick said that he believed the seven yards that the Patriots needed was too much to get on one play, so he decided to go with the field-goal attempt.
Who is this man? Apologizing to reporters after not really being anything different than the usual grump that he’s been for his career, especially after a loss? Attempting to make amends?
You’re getting soft, Bill.
Of course there’s no need for you to be prickly following a seven-game winning streak and your team lays an egg on a short week, but Bill, you’re not like other coaches. Your evasiveness with direct questions and unwavering focus on the next game at hand are what make you, you. It makes you the type of person who starts the least fun chant in the history of chants while at a Super Bowl championship parade, “No days off!”
We don’t need you to do any moral inventory right now. Save that for retirement. For now, continue to be the same difficult human being that you usually are. Some of us still appreciate it.