Is this the kinder and gentler Bill Belichick we are seeing during Super Bowl Media Day events? Or is it a shrewd tactic of psychological warfare?
Bill is actually saying nice things about the Eagles. Heck, he’s even smiling sometimes, and speaking in complete sentences, instead of the usual mumbles and grunts.
Belichick was asked about Doug Pederson’s play-calling ability on Monday, and he had some high praise for the second-year head coach at Super Bowl Opening Night:
“Very aggressive, well balanced, uses a lot of personnel, all the receivers, all the tight ends, all the backs,” Belichick said, via Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. “He’s done a great job and it’s a good offense and they’ve got good players, they’re well coached and he does a great job calling plays.”
Matt Birch, who covers the Super Bowl for this network, agrees:
“Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is known for his ability to keep opposing defenses off balance, which is due to the number of offensive weapons he has at his disposal, as well as his play-calling.
“The Eagles have fielded one of the most balanced offenses this season, with an average of 29.7 rushes and 34.8 passes attempted per game. Their unpredictability as it relates to their play-calling has made the job for opposing defensive coordinators extremely difficult. Not only that, the Eagles have a number of plays that have run-pass options, as well as some read-option plays, which makes it hard to create a defensive gameplan against them.”
Belichick also had high praise for the Eagles defense, specifically defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Schwartz, who has completely revamped the Eagles defense in just his second season with the team, is highly regarded around the league, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that Belichick had some positive things to say about him. What was surprising, though, is what the Patriots head coach revealed. Belichick told reporters he once tried to hire Jim Schwartz on his staff in 2001, shortly after he joined the Patriots, but Titans head coach Jeff Fisher had already promoted Schwartz from linebackers coach to the team’s defensive coordinator instead.
Belichick also had some other positive thoughts on Schwartz, which he shared on Monday night.
“I can’t say enough good things about Jim Schwartz,” Belichick said, via NFL Network’s Chris Wesseling. “He’s one of the smartest people I know. … He’s a really talented person. Look, I couldn’t say a bad thing about Jim Schwartz.”
Belichick also went on to speak about Schwartz’s career achievements, and what he specifically excels in.
“He did a good job in Detroit,” Belichick added. “He did a good job in Buffalo, and he’s a good, good football coach. He started off in personnel, so he has a good understanding of player personnel, player development, those kind of things. I have a ton of respect for Schwartzie, he’s one of the best guys I’ve worked with.”
Are you getting the warm and fuzzies yet for Bill?
You know, Belichick is a very nice guy in private life. The few times I’ve actually run into him, whether at a dock on the Chesapeake Bay (he is a boating enthusiast) or in the stands at a Johns Hopkins lacrosse game, I was greatly impressed by his sociability and his friendly nature. You would be floored by his humility and easy-going demeanor. His private persona is so different from the gruff hooded Sith Lord general he portrays on NFL sidelines.
Should the Eagles take into account the humanity of Bill Belichick which he seems to be unveiling publicly for the first time ever during a Super Bowl preparation week?
No, says our own version of Obi-wan Kenobi, the Evergreen Gatekeeper himself, GK Brizer: