Patriots news: Bill Belichick uses golf to explain poor offensive line play
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been around the game of football for so long that whenever he speaks, people listen. Belichick possesses a trove of football knowledge, and picking his brain is like poring through a football encyclopedia. His wisdom of the sport was on full display this week when a group of reporters, including Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, had a conference call with the seven-time (five with New England, 2 as defensive coordinator with the New York Giants) Super Bowl champion coach.
Among the topics touched on during the interview was the idea of diminished play of offensive linemen across the league. For Belichick, this can be partly explained by the mere absence of pads when these linemen practice. By doing so, Belichick believes that the players are missing on getting more accustomed to the minor aspects of a real football game that practices just can’t simulate.
“I just think in general, fundamentally it’s difficult to play on the offensive and defensive line,” Belichick said. “You’re playing a contact position with pads, and you’re practicing it without pads the majority of the time. That usually develops a lot of bad habits, and a lot of the techniques that a player would have the chance to work on and improve with pads, that opportunity just isn’t there without pads.
To further illustrate his point, Belichick compared practicing without pads to polishing one’s golf game on the driving range without aiming for the “putting green”.
“It’s like, you go out to the driving range and hit drives and hit balls, but you can’t go on the putting green,” Belichick said. “And then, to think that your putting is going to be at the same level as your driving when you can’t really practice it, it’s not really realistic. But, again, all teams are operating under the same set of rules, so it is what it is. But it’s hard. It’s hard at that position. It’s hard to tell a guy, ‘This is what you should do,’ but he really can’t go out and practice it.”
It’s quite ironic that Belichick had to resort to a sport with far less physicality to drive home his point regarding the more punishing game of football. But, that’s just Belichick for you – a brilliant football mind.