The NFL Combine offers us a chance to see many things, including prospects doing on-field drills to (hopefully) better their chances at getting drafted. But this year’s Combine also gave us the unexpected chance to see something else: Bill Belichick with his guard let down.
Normally in press conferences the legendary Patriots coach doesn’t reveal a ton of information and is very guarded, but today at the Combine Belichick stopped by the NFL Network booth for a fun few minutes talking with former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest, an NFL Network analyst who was on the field at the Combine.
It was actually really entertaining, and Belichick even poked some fun at his now infamous 4th and 2 decision against the Colts in 2009.
He began by sharing one of his favorite Willie McGinest memories, which just so happened to be against the Colts.
“Yeah, but you know Willie, one of my best memories is right here on this field when you made the short yardage stop down there against the Colts,” Belichick said, “and then the next year we opened with them and you made the sack that took [Mike] Vanderjagt out of field goal range, and I think that’s where [Mike] Vrabel got them on the fake time out too and then they changed the rule on that. But anyway, you got the Colts back-to-back two years in a row, here and in Foxborough.”
McGinest then joked that he doesn’t often share Colts stories when in Indianapolis because then the service gets slower and his room doesn’t get made up as fast and it’s not a warm welcome, and Belichick said that’s the way it used to be for him too.
“Yeah, trust me Willie,” Belichick said, “when I came to Indianapolis they threw stuff at me, yelled at me, and everything else. Then when I went for it on 4th and 1 and got stopped, ever since then it’s been, ‘hey coach, good to see you, how’s it going?’”
Regardless of what you think about Belichick, that’s pretty funny stuff, and it’s great to see humor like that from a guy typically very guarded and secretive. And that 4th and 2 play that he mentioned is a really well-known one now, as it highlighted the fact that Belichick really didn’t want to give the ball back to Peyton Manning. Melvin Bullitt stopped Kevin Faulk on the play, and shortly thereafter Manning hit Reggie Wayne for the game-winning score.
And apparently ever since then, Belichick has had a much warmer welcome in Indianapolis.