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.”
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.
“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.
“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.