Bill Belichick brushes off praise from Patriots players regarding important decision

New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The injury to rookie cornerback Isaiah Bolden during the Patriots' preseason matchup against the Packers over the weekend was scary. It brought many people back to last season, watching Bills' player Damar Hamlin have a medical emergency after a hard hit.

Because of that, Bill Belichick and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur decided to suspend the remainder of the game, ending it with just under eleven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Players, media, and fans lauded the decision, all citing the tremendously impactful injury to Hamlin last year as a reason to take the cautious route and allow the teams to focus on the health of Bolden, especially in a preseason game.

The rest of the night went as usual, with Patriots players speaking to reporters about the game. But special teams leader Matthew Slater made sure to praise to his head coach for suggesting canceling the game, calling it "one of the proudest moments" he's had playing for Belichick in his career.

"I really appreciate what Coach Belichick did. He took the initiative on that. Look, this is not the AFC Championship. We’re not playing for records. It’s preseason Game 2. When you have an injury like that, it affects a lot of guys in a lot of different ways. Clearly, our team was shaken by what happened, and I think Coach made the right decision.

"I think that was tremendous leadership by him. I have to say honestly, that was one of the proudest moments I’ve had as a guy who’s played for him for now 16 years, to see what he did. There was no hesitation. And I appreciate Coach LaFleur, as well, for standing with him. I think everybody acted swiftly, and it was the right call in this situation.”

But in typical Belichick fashion, he didn't accept any praise, complimenting the league for how they handled the situation instead.

“I appreciate the way the league handled it. I think that was the right thing to do.”

Considering the negativity the press generally throws at Belichick and the Patriots, it was nice to see Slater take the time to ensure we all knew how involved his coach was in ending the game.

Belichick is known for being competitive, and many have concluded who he is and how he would handle a situation like this. Slater set the record straight quickly, and Belichick deserves to be applauded for taking the initiative.