Patriots coach Bill Belichick routinely draws attention during press conference for short, dismissive, impatient, and/or sarcastic answers. On Friday, he provided a meaningful explanation regarding the differences between the way a guy runs in a straight line and how he runs on a football field.
The question emerged because quarterback Jacoby Brissett ran the 40-yard dash in 4.94 seconds at the Scouting Combine. That’s 0.14 seconds slower than Peyton Manning’s effort in 1998.
“The time-speed is always a tricky thing because time-speed isn’t football speed,” Belichick said. “When you run a 40-yard dash there’s nobody in front of you, nobody’s going to hit you. It’s just Point A to Point B, and there’s something to be said for that. Football’s in a lot of cases not like that. So a player’s running a ball or running full speed covering a kick or running the ball and there is people in front of him and people trying to tackle him, it’s a little different speed than running a sprint on the stop watch.
“We look at that more as competitive speed and when you see competitive speed in a game, whether that’s scouting in the draft or watching a competitive NFL game, sometimes competitive speed takes over for a little bit for what the time-speed is or isn’t. We’ve seen a lot of fast guys not be the first guy down on kickoff coverage. We’ve seen a lot of guys that aren’t that fast be the first guy down on kickoff coverage and so forth.
“And there are some players, Lawrence Taylor was one that however fast he needed to run, he ran and caught the guy. It didn’t matter what that guy’s time-speed was. It didn’t matter what Lawrence’s time-speed was. If he was behind him and he had to catch him, he caught him. So again, there’s just another element to that. I don’t think there’s any doubt about Jacoby’s athleticism and his physical strength and stature. I would say his speed is not slow. I don’t know whatever the next adjective is, but I certainly wouldn’t call it that. He’s got long legs. He eats up a lot of ground. He certainly showed enough speed on that quick sweep play on the touchdown run that we needed for that situation.”
Indeed Brissett did, running the ball 27 yards into the end zone. So regardless of his time-speed, he possesses the ability to run fast in game situations, when he needs to.
Belichick still possesses the ability to be sarcastic during a press conference. Asked about the team’s blue-on-blue look from Thursday night, Belichick said, “I mean I can’t even tell you how excited I was about the uniforms last night. That’s really incredible.”
Yes it is, Bill. Yes it is.