Two Days off and an Unexpected OTA
Bill Belichick and the Patriots have a few quotes they live by: “The Patriot Way,” “Do Your job” and, of course, “No Days Off”. I attended the Super Bowl LI rally in Boston and when the team gathered outside Government Center, Belichick, the team, and the fans had “NO DAYS OFF” echoing throughout downtown. I always found this funny given we had all taken the day off to be there.
This week Belichick awarded the players with a rare “two days off”, canceling the final two days of voluntary OTAs. Bill also decided to give the team a history lesson on Tuesday in place of workouts, complete with a blast from the past, old-school football environment. Oh yes, we mean even leather helmets and black-and white-tape.
Going Old School
Many players could tell right away the day was different from most. One player told Mike Reiss, “It was a lot of fun. We walked in and you could tell something different was going on than the normal practice day.”
Belichick is always in his element when history is involved. He loves football history and while he is often a man of few words, he will go on for days when it comes to matters of the subject. “The thing I’ve learned about Coach Belichick is that he loves history, he loves military, and any time he can incorporate teaching us about that, he loves it”, another player added.
In addition to the leather helmets and black-and-white videos, the players received lunches inspired by what football players used to eat. The bagged lunch reportedly contained hot dogs and hamburgers rather than the foods players eat now. The team was fresh off a field trip to Fenway Park, which they had taken the day before, making it a week to remember.
The History of Belichick
Belichick developed a love for the history of the football at a very young age. The game has been a facet of his life for many years. It is no surprise he takes his childhood experiences and love of this history and applies it to the way he conducts his team. Belichick’s father, Steve Belichick, was an assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy, and Bill was able to learn a lot from him. Bill has often mentioned that his father was an important mentor to him in his football career and would study the game with him often.
Between heading to Fenway on Monday, and the history lesson on Tuesday, the team certainly had an interesting last week of OTAs. The team practices next at training camp later this summer.