I couldn’t help but grin thinking about Jourdan Rodrigue, Joe Person, Bill Voth and more huddled excitedly around the telephone to talk with the greatest active head coach in the NFL, while on the other end of the phone Belichick looked a man scheduling a colonoscopy. At the end of the call, you could hear Joe Person remark “that was actually pretty good.” Belichick made the group laugh once, but overall it was a painful call that Belichick begrudgingly completed. You’ve got to wonder who these calls are most painful for? Listening to the call, it’s clearly Belichick. If you want to experience it for yourself, you can find the entire conference call between Belichick and Charlotte media here.
Questions, Answers, and Translation:
Joe Person: Coach, good morning. How are you doing?
Belichick: "Good, how’s it going?"
Translation: I for a moment forgot who I was talking to and doing what we are doing. I will now commence to hating every second of the next 10 minutes.
Joe Person: Like the Panthers, you lost one of your top targets in Julian [Edelman], wondering what’s been the key to keeping the offense going. It seems like you haven’t missed much of a beat.
Belichick: “It’s always tough losing a player like that.” It’s given other guys an opportunity and they’ve tried to do the most they can with it.”
Translation: Sad to see Edelman get hurt. Feel bad for him since he worked so hard and was just going to eat defenses up all day. But hey, next man up and we chew them up the same.
David Newton: What have you seen out of Cam Newton so far?
Belichick: “He’s a very dynamic player who certainly presents a lot of problems. He can do pretty much everything he needs to do. He’s done a good job of utilizing all of his targets and getting the ball to multiple people. He’s made some big plays in short yardage down in the red area. Touchdown last week on the option. A couple of scramble plays. He’s always a threat to do that. He’s got a great arm. Great vision on loose plays in the pockets. He’s a great pocket passer. He’s great at reading coverages and getting the ball to open receivers. He’s a big challenge for us.”
Translation: He throws the ball to receivers. He runs the ball. He is good.
Jourdan Rodrigue: What have you seen on film concerning Carolina’s inability to score touchdowns.
Belichick: “They have a very good group of skill players. They can run the ball. They have good productive backs, big targets to throw to, a good quarterback. So there is a lot for us to deal with us down there. A lot to stop. They do a good job.”
Translation: J-Rod, you think I’m telling you shit?
Joe Person: “Bill did you do much scouting or tape work on McCaffrey before the draft and if so, what are your assessments then and now?”
Belichick: “Yea, sure. We saw plenty of him. Explosive returner, which he is being used that way. I think Mike has done a good job working him into the offense as a running back and also catching some passes, and being involved in some other misdirection and other deceptive type plays. He’s a difficult guy to deal with in combination with Stewart and Cam Newton. He’s another weapon.
Translation: He can play football. He plays on special teams, running back, and wideout. We’ll be ready for him.
Bill Voth: Bill, what has a adding a guy like Brandin Cooks allowed you to do with the offense?
Belichick: “I wouldn’t say we made a lot of drastic changes in our offense. Brandin has done a good job of coming in and picking up our system and learning the things we have asked him to do. He’s a great teammate. He works extremely hard. He’s trying to execute his role just like everyone else is."
Translation: We make everyone work. Do your job.
Joe Person: The 2013 game here was kind of a pivotal moment for this franchise. I was wondering your memories or takeaways from that game were?
Belichick: “A really competitive game. A great environment. Great stadium, great crowd that night. It came down to a controversial play in the end zone. We had a flag, then we didn’t have a flag. Then the game was over. Two competitive teams going toe to toe. It was a great football game.”
Translation: Man, get that shit out of my face. I’m about to hang this phone up right now. We had a conference call, then we didn’t have a conference call.
Joe Person: What didn’t work out with Kony Ealy there?
Belichick: “It just uhh. I don’t think it is anyone’s fault, it just didn’t work out. I think he worked hard doing the things we asked him to do. We tried our best. It just didn’t work out as well as anyone hoped it would when we initially made the trade. It was just best to move on.”
Translation: Dude was too dumb and lazy to fit in here. We ain’t having it, and that is why he now plays for the Jets.
Bill Voth: We’re curious to hear what you think makes Luke Kuechly such a good player.
Belichick: “Pretty much everything. He does everything well. He’s very instinctive. Knows where a lot of plays are going either before they get there or very quickly after the ball is snapped. He’s fast. He’s got good range. Gets sideline to sideline. Makes a lot of plays in pursuit. Tackles well. Makes a lot of interceptions. I mean he has more interceptions and tackles than anybody. He’s productive against the run. He’s productive against the run. He’s a guy that’s hard to block, and when he does, he doesn’t stay blocked for long. He’s got a great motor. Plays very hard. Plays with great effort. Guy should be in the running for defensive player of the year every year, really.”
Translation: If you can’t tell from how unenthusiastically I’m answering this question, he’s a good player but I don’t really care about breaking him down for you. I’m so bored by this I may just stab my eyes out with my pencil.
Joe Person: You got some big corners and Gilmore against a team that has some big receivers, is that a pretty big factor for you guys?
Belichick: “It is. I don’t think anyone has as big of receivers as the Panthers do. It seems like they have a lot of tight ends on the field all the time, but they aren’t tight ends, they’re receivers. Guys that are 6’5 230, or whatever they are. Guys like Benjamin, Funchess, they have a huge catch radius and are always open because of their size….really hard guys to defend, and matching up to their size on the perimeter is a huge challenge for us. It’s a challenge for anybody. Nobody has got 6’5 230lbs corners”
Translation: Them dudes are damn huge. Making you laugh shows I have a personality. I just hate ya’ll so damn much this is like eating glass.
Jourdan Rodrigue: “What is your impression of Carolina’s defensive line, especially extending Charles Johnson and bringing in Julius Peppers?
Belichick: “Well, they have a great defensive line. Really all eight of those guys, whichever ones are active...They compliment each other well. They have a great rotation. It’s really hard to prepare for all the different styles of play. Horton and Hall, they are both good and a little different. Johnson and Peppers are both good but different. Butler and Short, and Lotulelei are good, but a little different. They all do a good job...Their front seven is as good as any in football.”
Translation: These dudes are the guys we are really preparing for because Brady can handle any secondary. They have a lot of guys who we are figuring out how to block. We know this is the group that determines if Carolina has a shot or not.
[Don’t know who asked this one] Coach, some of our defensive backs mentioned watching Tom Brady play in the 2003 Super Bowl when they were in middle school. How long is he going to play at this level? Is he going to retire at 50 or 60 years old?
Belichick: “Yea, I don’t know. I’m not thinking that far ahead. I’m thinking about Carolina this weekend. I think he’ll be ready for that game.”
Translation: Man, you think I care about helping you do your job in any way? On to Carolina.
By Tony Dunn
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