Even though New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick can seem like a cyborg programmed simply for football purposes at times between his no-nonsense approach and generic press conferences, his interests extend far beyond the sport — from the movie My Cousin Vinnie to history to what can be described as his ‘second’ sport: lacrosse. It’s therefore no surprise to see the coach attend games as often as possible.
On Sunday, for example, Belichick was at Gillette Stadium to watch the inaugural weekend of the Premier Lacrosse League. He also took the time to talk to NBC Sports about the game (via 247 Sports’ Kevin Boilard). “I loved playing lacrosse,” Belichick said when asked about his own playing days. “I grew up in Annapolis, played it there, played it in prep school in Andover, and played it four years at Wesleyan. I love lacrosse, it’s a fun sport to play.”
Belichick’s affinity for lacrosse is well documented — his three children all played the sport in college, and his daughter Amanda is working as an assistant coach for the New England Command. The same goes for his knowledge of the game, and its strategic nuances. “It’s so different than football because you have a goalie at a spot, as opposed to football — we have a whole goal line. It changes how you’re trying to attack,” Belichick said.
“The great thing about lacrosse is just how fluid it is: you go from offense to defense to loose balls to unsettled situations, man-up, man-down, face-offs... a lot of strategic plays in lacrosse, but the flow of the game, just the pace of it is kind of like hockey,” he continued when speaking about the game in comparison to other sports. “Just up and down the field in a couple of seconds. These guys are so fast, and so talented with their stick work.”
Belichick was also asked about how the most famous player he is coaching, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, would fare on a lacrosse field, and what position he would most likely play like. The answer was a quick one: “Goalie,” said Belichick, offering a simple explanation why the NFL’s greatest ever quarterback would succeed at only one position in lacrosse. “You need to be able to run here.”
Other players he coached, on the other hand, would make solid lacrosse players per Belichick. “I think some of our players like Devin McCourty and Pat Chung, guys like that — that are fast and have good quickness could play at 200, 205 pounds, 210 pounds, somewhere there — they would be pretty tough,” he said. “I think [Tedy] Bruschi would have been a good defenseman, Rodney Harrison... those guys would have been pretty good. [Mike] Vrabel, guys like that, that are long and tough.”