At halftime in New England on Sunday, the Dolphins led the Patriots 17-0. Then New England scored 27 straight points to start the second half and came back to win. So what did Bill Belichick say to inspire such a second-half turnaround?
His players wouldn’t repeat it, but suffice to say he wasn’t happy with their first-half effort.
“It’s probably not even legal for me to say it right now, so I won’t do it,” linebacker Jerod Mayo said. “I’m not going to censor it. Too many beeps.”
Patriots guard Brian Waters said Belichick’s anger was justified.
“It’s halftime, [and] you’re down 17-0 in a very important game,” Waters said. “So I’m sure that it was emphasized in a way that it needed to be emphasized. That’s for sure.”
Asked after the game what he had said at halftime, Belichick said he simply stressed the importance of playing better.
“We needed to do everything better,” Belichick said. “We just didn’t do a good job in any phase of the game in any area. I know we’re capable of more than that and the players showed that. They responded. It wasn’t perfect in the second half and we got a couple of breaks, but we made a few plays on our own, so that’s good. We were able to come out on top, but we dug ourselves a hole there.”
Whatever the specifics of Belichick’s halftime speech, it worked.