Seriously, is there any NFL rule that New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick has overlooked in his quest for complete domination of the game of the football?

On Monday night, as the Seattle Seahawks-Detroit Lions game wound down, confusion reigned across America — except in Belichick’s home (or whatever lair he uses to absorb football). He no doubt watched the Seahawks’ K.J. Wright bat a fumbled football out of the endzone, said to himself, “You can’t do that except when you can” and went back to watching “My Cousin Vinny” for the 47 trillionth time. As he was relaxing, the NFL was admitting that officials erred by not penalizing the Seahawks for the play and giving the ball to the Lions on the half-yard line. The Seahawks went on to win the game.

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But enough about that. Let’s get back to Belichick.

Had this happened in a Patriots game, he would have been in the eye of the storm because the Patriots practice the play. Never mind that legality/illegality of it is a judgment call. Former Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin pulled back the wizard’s curtain on the Pats’ prep on that one shortly after the play Monday night.

Not that Belichick had them obsessively taking batting practice, but he always has something up his hoodie’s sleeve, unless he’s cut them off. (Even there, he’s ahead of the game.)

Colvin stressed that nothing illegal was going on. Belichick was holding “situational practices where we went over the proper way to and when to bat balls.”

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Now you know why Tom Brady urged Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh to “study the rulebook” after the team’s playoff game last January. Harbaugh lamented then that “nobody’s ever seen that before … It’s not something anybody’s ever done before” as the Patriots ran a series of plays with four offensive lineman and one skill player who was an ineligible receiver.

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“Maybe those guys gotta study the rule book and figure it out,” Brady said. “We obviously knew what we were doing and we made some pretty important plays. It was a real good weapon for us. Maybe we’ll have something in store next week.”

Next week, of course, was the DeflateGate game and Belichick was forced to reveal a little more about the depths of his preparation there, too.

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“Let me just say that my personal coaching philosophy and my mentality has always been to make things as difficult as possible for players in practice,” he said in January’s Mona Lisa Vito press conference. “…With footballs, I’m sure that any current or past player of mine would tell you that the balls we practice with are as bad as they can be — wet, sticky, cold, slippery. However bad we can make them, I make them.”

Just in case somebody, maybe, bats a ball at a critical moment in a big game.

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