Skip to content

Bill Belichick is not a fan of combine-specific training methods

Justin Cox AP

Most of the players who will show up for next week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis have been training for months.

But according to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, they’ve been training the wrong way.

NESN held onto some Belichick comments from July which are pertinent now, a bit of a diatribe against the increased training for specific combine events like the 40-yard dash (or the less-heralded but still important three-cone drill).

I think that’s a huge mistake that a lot of those players make, but I’m sure they have their reasons for doing it,” Belichick said. “We’re training our players to play football, not to go through a bunch of those February drills. Yeah, our training is football intensive. We train them to get ready to play and ultimately that’s what they’re going to do. Maybe for some of those guys another activity in between or a pro day or whatever it is, but in the end, they’re going to make their career playing football. We already know that with our guys, and we don’t have to deal with any of that other stuff. We just train them for football. I think it’s huge.

“I think there are a lot of players and I think a lot of players learn from that, that they look at their rookie year and feel like, ‘I wasn’t really as physically as well prepared as maybe I was in college or what I will be in their succeeding years in the league,’ and train more for football and train less for the broad jump and three-cone drill and stuff like that. I think a lot of those guys hopefully learn that lesson and intensify their physical football training after they’ve had that year of, in a lot of cases, I would say non-football training or very limited training for actually football.”

Of course, it’s a little late for that now, and the Patriots aren’t so bold as to discount every bit of data they harvest in Indianapolis. They’re smart enough to know that each piece of information is a tool in the toolbox, and picking the right one for the job is the important part.

But a fast 40 time can still catch the eyes of scouts, and change the way they look at months or years of film. And honestly, the attention the media and advertisers give it feeds the speed-training industry, which is why Adidas isn’t offering a million bucks to the guy who watches film best.

Permalink 44 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, New England Patriots, Rumor Mill
44 Responses to “Bill Belichick is not a fan of combine-specific training methods”
  1. 3wordanswers says: Feb 18, 2016 6:26 AM

    Pats wont have a first round pick this year it seems; but we all know Belichick is smart enough to come out of the draft with at least one top-30 talent wherever he picks……

  2. lgw91s says: Feb 18, 2016 6:37 AM

    It just makes sense, as he normally does. But how many of those brilliant taping and cheating comments are about to be spewed by the usuals?

  3. patriottony says: Feb 18, 2016 6:41 AM

    This is why he is so successful at picking “oddball” players..like Brady..like Edleman,,like Gronk..etc etc etc…..People go WHO??? Btw it has been 30 yrs since the Pats had the #1 pick….and for the last 15..they pick almost last in the 1st round…meanwhile you have teams like the RAMS or TN who pick first every year and still screw up.

  4. patsfan says: Feb 18, 2016 6:58 AM

    Somewhere Kiper Jr. just lost his wig.

  5. marcuswelby1 says: Feb 18, 2016 7:14 AM

    Trolls: Deep down through all your hatred, you know you would want Belichick coaching your team.

  6. jimmyt says: Feb 18, 2016 7:20 AM

    They will still be at the combine doing the same things as every other team. This is just more Belichick being Belichick, trying to convince himself, his addle minded fans and the sports world that he is some kind of visionary, maverick football genius who has redefined coaching when all he has done throughout his tenure with the Patriots is try to perfect cheating. That is his true legacy.

  7. weepingjebus says: Feb 18, 2016 7:21 AM

    This is why Goodell’s plan to steal the Patriots first rounder every year won’t work. Belichick will be drafting football players while most other teams collect the finest cone runners in the country.

  8. 6superbowls says: Feb 18, 2016 7:24 AM

    Aka., “We train of players to believe cheating is okay in order to win”.

  9. tonebones says: Feb 18, 2016 7:32 AM

    Belichick is right. It’s called the lazy man’s syndrome. Why study hours and hours of tape when you can just time a guy in the 40? LOL. No wonder Belichick beats the brains out of all these lazy people. People think they’re always going to find a shortcut in life. Well the same thing applies to scouting.

  10. fcrwo01 says: Feb 18, 2016 7:37 AM

    Please explain to me why in this day and age, they’re not having the players run and go through football drills in full pads w/helmets.

  11. omgspaz says: Feb 18, 2016 7:43 AM

    Diehard Pats fan here…BB is the greatest to ever coach in the NFL, but you’re lying to yourself if you don’t think he totally botched the stretch run for the Pats this year. The dropkick in the Philly game, the coin flip against the Jets, the terrible game plan in Miami…worst of all totally underestimating Denver’s homefield advantage and thinking as long as he had his guys healthy they would just waltz in there and win despite the crowd, the defense, and their history in Denver. The lack of in-game adjustments was totally not like him either. It was a bad stretch but there’s no coach in the NFL I’d rather have, hopefully we make the adjustments and get back on the drive for five in Houston next year.

  12. joefelicelli says: Feb 18, 2016 7:46 AM

    I would be curious to see whether they would change training methods if they worked out in helmets at the Combine.

    I usually chuckle when I see all the things Belichick doesn’t like, but in this case, I agree with him. Guys spend so much time working on their stance for the 40, instead of working on football-specific drills. I don’t know whether they could change it after it has gotten so big, but I think that’s what the Pro Days are for. That is where they show football skills. And the tape they put together during their college careers is the biggest factor anyway.

    No coaches really like the Combine, but I think they all want it to take place for two reasons: the medical check, and the interviews. the rest is just filling in gaps in the scouting reports.

  13. duanethomas33 says: Feb 18, 2016 7:59 AM

    I agree, because after their pro day, that will be the last time they do a 40 yard dash, broad jump etc…no team does that, they do football drills.

  14. doublebase says: Feb 18, 2016 8:07 AM

    This is nothing new, no one likes these drills and how they transcend to football, but it’s not going to change anytime soon. I think GMs are smart enough to realize what’s important, they all have their methods to assess a player…many of which we aren’t witness to. But at the same time if a kid can’t run, more than likely he won’t be playing NFL football at a high level…yeah some make it, but a lot more don’t. It’s a factor and there are many – what Belichick says is true, but he’s not the only one to think that.

  15. BradyIsTheGCOAT says: Feb 18, 2016 8:20 AM

    He’s a cheater, but definitely in the top 15 all time for coaches. I think 2nd or 3rd ballot HOFer for sure.

  16. hawk944 says: Feb 18, 2016 8:24 AM

    The usual in depth answer to an intelligent question from Professor Belichick.

  17. nolasoxfan2012 says: Feb 18, 2016 8:46 AM

    Wasn’t there an article on here around this time last year with Ryan Grigson talking about the importance of the 40-yard dash?

  18. intrafinesse says: Feb 18, 2016 8:59 AM

    Belichick is wrong.
    teams uses metrics to evaluate prospects, one of which is speed, and other of which is agility.
    If someone does poorly on those tests, their draft stock (and pay and job security) can drop. If a player does well, it can increase his draft position, equating to more money and security.

    All players should also try and be in excellent shape, that isn’t mutually exclusive with training for the combine.

    Football knowledge is what players gain when they enter the NFL and start studying. Once you are drafted, the combine skills are of little value, and studying becomes extremely important. At that time you can concentrate on what your coaches want you to do.

  19. kuantan97 says: Feb 18, 2016 9:03 AM

    Uuhhhh…you do all realize that Belichick isn’t the only coach or scout with this view, right?

  20. dtriebel says: Feb 18, 2016 9:17 AM

    Wish Belichick could be discussed without the usual trolls attacking him for any thing and everything and the usual Patriot Fanboys gushing forth with “haters gonna hate” and other nonsensical idiocy in response to even mild yet honest criticism.

    He’s a great coach, has some warts, in this case he is right. Rookie years aren’t helped by training for the 40, but sometimes their wallets are.

  21. luckyjim1980 says: Feb 18, 2016 9:22 AM

    The guy started watching game film at six years old, so it’s no wonder he doesn’t put much stock in combine drills (except, of course, the three cone lol). He knows what to look for in the context that matters most: the actual game.

  22. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 18, 2016 9:26 AM

    “Aka., “We train of players to believe cheating is okay in order to win”.”

    As a Steelers fan you are of course familiar with cheating as they have the longest and most extensive history of doing so of any team in the league.

  23. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 18, 2016 9:27 AM

    “Belichick is wrong.”

    Yeah 6 Super Bowl appearances and 10 AFC Championship appearances in 15 years say you’re wrong in your assessment of Belichick.

  24. psousa1 says: Feb 18, 2016 9:28 AM

    It’s true. The bench press (blocking, shedding blocks, jamming receivers) and 40 yard dash have value (I would be more concerned about a guy’s 10 yard dash time).

    Most of the other stuff is just fluff – I don’t care how high an offensive lineman can jump and I’m sure most teams don’t.

  25. notmanning says: Feb 18, 2016 9:28 AM

    “This is why he is so successful at picking “oddball” players..like Brady..like Edleman,,like Gronk..etc etc etc…..People go WHO??? Btw it has been 30 yrs since the Pats had the #1 pick….and for the last 15..they pick almost last in the 1st round…meanwhile you have teams like the RAMS or TN who pick first every year and still screw up.”

    I THINK GRONK WAS KNOWN OUT OF COLLEGE, BUT HE HAD ISSUES SO HE SLIPPED. BB HAS SHOWN WILLINGNESS TO TAKE CHANCES ON MARGINAL CHARACTERS, SOME WORK OUT (GRONK) SOME DON’T (HERNANDEZ)

  26. thewigglr says: Feb 18, 2016 9:33 AM

    Spoken like a true genius. The Patriots are perennial winners and outright the best franchise is sports today.

  27. 6ball says: Feb 18, 2016 9:43 AM

    .
    Once Belichick was asked by the media about a drafted offensive lineman’s mediocre time in the 40. Belichick replied that it’s a rare occasion when an O lineman is asked to run 40 yards down field in a straight line.
    .

  28. Mo Pro Babble says: Feb 18, 2016 9:53 AM

    6superbowls says:
    Feb 18, 2016 7:24 AM
    Aka., “We train of players to believe cheating is okay in order to win”.

    So, he stole the idea from Pissburgh?

  29. lolo376 says: Feb 18, 2016 10:00 AM

    I always thought they should wear all equipment at the combine, they’ll be wearing it during games.

  30. listenupcupcake says: Feb 18, 2016 10:19 AM

    Mike. Mamula.

    That is all you need to know about the relationship between performance at the combine and in the NFL.

  31. GoodellMustGo says: Feb 18, 2016 10:27 AM

    listenupcupcake says:
    Feb 18, 2016 10:19 AM

    Mike. Mamula.

    That is all you need to know about the relationship between performance at the combine and in the NFL.

    Yep. Among others: Darius Heyward-Bey and Vernon Gholston.

    #BelichickIsRight
    #Again
    #AsUsual
    #AllHailTheGOATCoach

  32. atthemurph says: Feb 18, 2016 10:28 AM

    I guy who can run a 4.25 forty in 1 oz of nylon may not be a guy who can run a even 4.5 forty in a full football uniform.

    And don’t get me started on the 3 cone.

    The combine testing is all BS. Put them on a field with pads and other players and then grade them, but that’s what a real scouting system does.

    For the good teams that draft well almost every year, the combine is more about meeting and talking with each of the potential draftees. It’s about seeing how they show up, the work they put in and their attitudes.

    If teams are worried about a guy running a 4.6 rather than a 4.5 then they’re doomed to picking in the top half each year.

  33. GoodellMustGo says: Feb 18, 2016 10:29 AM

    Plus there’s the interviews. Just as important at the combine as physical skills.

    Ryan Leaf deliberately skipped his. How did he do in the NFL?

  34. GoodellMustGo says: Feb 18, 2016 10:40 AM

    Tom Brady “ran” a 5.28 40 yard dash at his combine, the slowest ever measured for a QB and looked really awkward doing it.

    No doubt contributing to his position as a 6th round pick.

    How did that work out?
    :)

    #NEThanksTheScoutsForOverlookingTheSoonToBeGOAT

  35. GoodellMustGo says: Feb 18, 2016 10:50 AM

    Mo Pro Babble says:
    Feb 18, 2016 9:53 AM

    6superbowls says:
    Feb 18, 2016 7:24 AM
    Aka., “We train of players to believe cheating is okay in order to win”.

    So, he stole the idea from Pissburgh?

    —-
    Cheatsburgh*
    :)

    #0LegitTitles
    #5FromCheating1FromRefs

  36. chinahand11 says: Feb 18, 2016 11:37 AM

    Pissburgh is a good one.

  37. mototax says: Feb 18, 2016 11:59 AM

    You have to love this quote!

    “We’re training our players to play football, not to go through a bunch of those February drills.”

  38. xbarkingfrogx says: Feb 18, 2016 12:42 PM

    And Bill knows training! His man boobs are pure muscle!

  39. mackcarrington says: Feb 18, 2016 3:29 PM

    The combine is a primetime TV show now. That genie isn’t going back in the bottle.

  40. ikeclanton says: Feb 18, 2016 5:00 PM

    The Patriots can’t afford to be fooled at the combine, not that it hasn’t happened, but they are usually not picking anywhere near the top of the 1st round where obvious talent resides.

    The Patriots last #1 was Drew Bledsoe in 1993 (great choice vs. Rick Mirer) and prior to that it was Irving Fryar in 1984 (borderline HOF’er).

    They haven’t had a top ten pick since Richard Seymour in 2001 (#6) unless you count the recently-retired Jerod Mayo at #10 in 2008. Knowing how to choose versatile football players and not track stars, how to coach and keep salaries down (providing more depth), and having Tom Brady has allowed them to have their amazing success during this time.

  41. mototax says: Feb 18, 2016 5:56 PM

    It’s obvious drafting isn’t a perfect science because 198 picks were made before Brady. And wouldn’t you know it, the Browns had the #1 overall pick that year.

  42. babygaga19 says: Feb 19, 2016 9:42 AM

    I guess Brady was simply a late bloomer. His college career was undistinguished. Not terribly impressive in the combine and even BB will tell you he had no idea what he was getting with the late draft choice. What a story!

  43. fanofpft says: Feb 19, 2016 7:26 PM

    They will still be at the combine doing the same things as every other team. This is just more Belichick being Belichick, trying to convince himself, his addle minded fans and the sports world that he is some kind of visionary, maverick football genius who has redefined coaching when all he has done throughout his tenure with the Patriots is try to perfect cheating. That is his true legacy.

    And if that stats comment is from him add lying on top of it. Also “we game plan the same for every team” Meanwhile the defense will change from game to game. As well as the offense plans.

    How did running the only pickup RB (after every other team passed on him) they could get work out in week 17?

  44. babygaga19 says: Feb 19, 2016 7:29 PM

    Any news on Brady and his quest to be an Olympian down-hill racer? Hilarious pic! Only a rich nerd would be caught dead in the ski gear he wore. We note there are no pics or videos of him actually skiing those slopes. What a poser! Colorado is laughing, again.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!