Apparently, it’s not just adorable children and monkey puppets which can bring out the softer side of Bill Belichick.
Veteran defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said he’s seen the generally gruff Belichick change over the years.
“Yeah, I’ve seen the difference in Bill in the 11 years that I have been here, and I tell him he is getting soft,” Wilfork said, via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. “But this is a different era of football now — with how the team has shaped up and how a lot of guys are younger guys.
“You don’t really have that veteran team that he used to have. When I first came in the league, he had a veteran team that didn’t take much to get those guys going. But if I have to say anything, I think over the years he got a soft heart. He’s more understanding now.”
That change in approach has been out of necessity, as this is a far younger team than he’s brought to the Super Bowl in the past. Wilfork and Tom Brady are the only players left from their last Super Bowl win, which means Belichick had to adjust.
“I think Bill had to do a good job of that ever since I’ve been in the league because we’ve changed so much,” Wilfork said. “We were a veteran team. [Then] it was a younger team — at one point we were the youngest team in the league. So I think he had to try to find the identity in what works for that team. And I think he’s done a great job over the years of doing that.
“But at the end of the day, he is still Bill. He coaches the same way. He demands everything the same way. But I think he’s got a little soft heart now. Over time, he got a little softer, though.”
That doesn’t always come through, however.