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Bill Belichick’s full comments on concussions

AP

As football players and coaches try to wrestle with the challenges associated with head injuries, it’s important to consider carefully the words of the sport’s most influential voices on the situation. Even if those voices choose to say hardly any words at all.

That’s what happened on Tuesday, when Patriots coach Bill Belichick finally faced questions about the claim from Gisele Bundchen that her husband, Tom Brady, suffered a concussion during the 2016. Here’s the full content of the exchange between reporters and Belichick

Q: What is the organization’s response to the comment by a family member that Tom Brady suffered a concussion last season?

Belichick: Well, I’m sure you know, Mike [Reiss], we file injury reports every week. So I’m not sure when the next one’s due, probably sometime in September, but we’ll have one for you then. [Editor’s note: Belichick didn’t answer the question.]

Q: How challenging is managing the reporting and treatment of concussions from a team standpoint?

Belichick: We file our reports in compliance with league guidelines. [Editor’s note: Belichick didn’t answer the question.]

Q: Have you seen progress in players self-reporting concussion-like symptoms?

Belichick: You know, our medical staff really handles the injury situation with players. Players don’t come to me and I don’t treat them for injuries. That’s not really my job. That’s what we have medical staff for. [Editor’s note: Belichick answered the question, but not really. Whether and to what extent the culture of football has changed regarding head injuries is an important factor for its future, and the notion that coaches keep their hands fully clean and their heads fully buried regarding such matters is either not credible or irresponsible.]

Q: To what degree is player safety important to you personally, particularly as it pertains to concussions and head injuries?

Belichick: Yeah, I think I’ve talked about that quite a bit. Our foundation supports that cause. Personally, I’ve spent a lot of time on it. [Editor’s note: He’s answered the question, but it was the standard Belichick bum rush, aimed at saying as little as possible except when the question accidentally tickles his football-nerd fancy.]

It’s one thing for Belichick to treat coaching a football team with military-grade secrecy. It’s quite another for Belichick to give short shrift to important issues regarding player health and safety.

I know, Patriots fans. He has every right to say whatever he wants. And in turn we have every right to say that he’s not saying nearly enough, given the important position he occupies at the most important level of football regarding one of the most important challenges facing the sport.

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23 Responses to “Bill Belichick’s full comments on concussions”
  1. Della Street says: Jun 6, 2017 6:58 PM

    Florio, you ask him those same questions, on national TV, and you’ll get the same answers. He owes no one anything. Why does him being a HC make that any different?

  2. firerogergoodellnow says: Jun 6, 2017 7:04 PM

    Years ago he got busted by the NFL for not putting someone on the injury report with a very minor hand sprain. Now, he’ll list 20 players questionable every week for as little as a finger cut.

  3. jimbobcooterqbtutor says: Jun 6, 2017 7:06 PM

    I think you should lay off on Belichek. Everyone should. He was just voicing his opinions in his best way possible. No one should be criticized for that.

    BB should get a pass.

  4. redclaw1314 says: Jun 6, 2017 7:07 PM

    Belichick said that he follows league policy—if that is a problem then maybe you should be asking Roger the questions

  5. wahoo21 says: Jun 6, 2017 7:18 PM

    Its called Plausible Deniability

  6. patsfan1820 says: Jun 6, 2017 7:31 PM

    Why would you ask Belichick about this. His job is coaching the team not being a doctor or trainer. If you want to ask anyone anything about Tom Brady possibly having concussions ask the trainers. Covering up concussions is done even at the high school level nobody wants to take a play off.

  7. tedmurph says: Jun 6, 2017 7:33 PM

    Belichick can obviously be a wise guy when responding to questions he doesn’t like or isn’t interested in. But, what does anyone expect him to say? Explain pillow talk between Ton and Giselle? Explain if players self report enough? How would he know that? Head trauma is obviously a serious issue in the NFL. I wouldn’t even be surprised if it’s the demise of the league someday. But, other than following league guidelines and team doctor’s advice, what do reporters expect him to respond to? Belichick is no more in position to diagnose a concussion than I am. He coaches the team.

  8. 3rdngoal says: Jun 6, 2017 7:36 PM

    It’s funny, if he answered in a politicians tone people would be talking about how disingenuous he is. He answers by sticking to the rules that the commissioners office puts forward and people want him to answer like a politician. Make up your mind.

    BTW, anyone that plays this sport or coaches it is not interested in players safety, can we stop this faux argument. It’s a violent sport where they object is to hit the bejesus out of the other guy. End of story.

  9. maust1013 says: Jun 6, 2017 7:45 PM

    [Random commenter’s observation: Belichick did answer the questions and in the exact way any Pats fan could have told you he would, although we would have included a snort or two and a few tongue clicks.]

    Did you really expect anything different? For example from Sept. of 2016 regarding Garoppolo’s injury status:

    “I’m a football coach, not a doctor, the medical staff is the medical staff. I coach the team; medical people handle the injuries. They don’t call plays; I don’t do surgery. We have a great deal there. It works out good.”

  10. daddeeo says: Jun 6, 2017 8:02 PM

    Waaaaaahhhhh Waaaaahhhhh

    Go you guys in the press think so highly of yourselves. Fester in your indignity!

  11. randomguy9999 says: Jun 6, 2017 8:38 PM

    BB should get a pass.

    ——————————————–

    why? for continually making a shell game out of the injury report, flaunting NFL rules, or outright exploiting loopholes to continually cheat the game?

    BB is great at using loopholes to give his team an unfair advantage…. not so great at sports ethics

  12. ibillwt says: Jun 6, 2017 8:46 PM

    Belichick just isn’t big on phony token lip service to on a serious topic.
    He knows there’s plenty of that available elsewhere in the media. So enjoy the empty posturing as you choose.

  13. tylawspick6 says: Jun 6, 2017 8:56 PM

    This is utterly ridiculous. He’s the coach. He’s not a medical professional and does not make those calls.

    Oh, and Giselle is a serious moron who is a big yap that needs shutting.

  14. tylawspick6 says: Jun 6, 2017 8:57 PM

    randomguy9999 says:
    Jun 6, 2017 8:38 PM

    BB should get a pass.

    ——————————————–

    why? for continually making a shell game out of the injury report, flaunting NFL rules, or outright exploiting loopholes to continually cheat the game?

    BB is great at using loopholes to give his team an unfair advantage…. not so great at sports ethics

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    Report comment

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    Wrong. You will not find a more humble and respectful NFL employee of the league’s history, players, coaches, etc, past, present or future, than Bill Belichick.

    He has GREAT ethics and comes from a great family.

  15. wentzsteiger says: Jun 7, 2017 12:54 AM

    Give it a rest Florio. All you do now is advocate for one cause or another. It’s tiresome.

  16. hwentworth says: Jun 7, 2017 7:37 AM

    Another day, another journalist screaming about Belichick’s brevity. I don’t see the point of constant posts about this. Pointing out that he doesn’t say enough isn’t going to convince him to open up. If it hasn’t worked in fifteen years, why would it start now? He’s not even reading these articles. The only thing posts like these serve to do is rile up those who like the Patriots and provide more fodder to those who don’t.

  17. fjw2 says: Jun 7, 2017 7:49 AM

    It sure seems to me that the problem with that particular interview was not with the interviewee.

  18. kissbillsrings says: Jun 7, 2017 8:17 AM

    Great Mr.Florio…. Why don’t you just answer for him as apparently it doesn’t matter what he says or how he responds because it’s NEVER what you wanted him to say anyways….
    Personally I LOVED his response….. Straight forward & factual…. Is that what bothers you so much??!!

  19. roverboy1949 says: Jun 7, 2017 8:53 AM

    Just admit it-whatever BB does is wrong. He put guys on the injury report and he is abusing it, he doesn’t put a guy on it(when he has no evidence that he should) and he’s wrong. Another great espn first hand report!

  20. edgerules says: Jun 7, 2017 11:13 AM

    If you are going to answer the questions for him, Florio, what is the purpose of posting the answers. Just post what the man says.

  21. fanasaurus says: Jun 7, 2017 12:22 PM

    Bill Belicheck would never say it to Mike Florio, but answering those questions would do neither him or the Patriot players or fans any good. It would only open up the chance for those with an agenda to take a worm level shot at his statement, so he doesn’t go there.

  22. superpatriotsfan says: Jun 7, 2017 12:41 PM

    Why bother asking him questions if he’s going to give you snide remarks?

  23. brwmstr says: Jun 8, 2017 8:23 AM

    G.O.A.T.

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