Cameras were ready to roll and questions were gushed like a volcano is ready for eruption on Wednesday’s Patriots press conference at Gillette Stadium when coach Bill Belichick took the podium for the first time since Aaron Hernandez arrest took place. While many anticipate the “traditional” coach Belichick press conference, this one allows for no place for comparison. How could?
Coach Belichick leads by example, and while this is perceived to be a “football distraction” for those who have no idea of how delicate the situation has become, coach Belichick expresses this as a tragedy – one that goes far beyond football talks. He not only acknowledged the situation in the most heartfelt, compassionate and authentic way, but he also answered the question of many who sees Belichick on a surface level. Yes he does have a “human side”.
Did he need to proof his “human side”? No. The players know it. The assistant coaches know it. His family knows it. Patriots Nation knows it – to a limited certain extent. It’s sad it had to come out this way. Wednesday’s press conference presents an opportunity to put a closing to the situation. By no means has it put a close to those closely affected by the loss, and by no means has this step represented any disrespect. But today, coach Belichick has set the start of focusing back to football. It might be easier said than done since as long as the legal process still ongoing, this dreadful situation can come up at anytime as he said the team was looking into which players on the team have possibly visited the flop house in Franklin.
Under coach Belichick leadership, the Patriots have gone through very tough times, and coach Belichick himself has walked a very challenging path through his coaching career. Yet, coach Belichick and the Patriots have found the strength to place focus where it needs to be and the courage to defeat any fear. This season will not be an exception.
My comments are certainly not in proportion to the unfortunate and sad situation that we have here. I’ve been advised to address the subject once and it’s time for the New England Patriots to move forward. Moving forward consists of what it’s always been here: to build a winning football team, be a strong pillar in the community, be a team that our fans can be proud of. That’s what we’re here for.”
See coach Belichick’s press conference transcript and video here via Patriots.com