Bill Belichick: Lawrence Taylor could tell who was blocking him by the fear in their eyes

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick offered some fascinating insight into his old Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor that may be the best encapsulation of just how much L.T. affected opposing offenses.

In comments in a May interview on Paul Rabil’s podcast, Belichick said Taylor always knew who was blocking him by looking for one thing: Fear.

“A player like Lawrence was such a special athlete, but a really special player because of his awareness and instinctiveness,” Belichick said. “Taylor had the ability, when he stood on the end of the line of scrimmage, which is where he played as an outside linebacker/defensive end, he could just tell, it didn’t matter who the person was, or what the play was, or anything else, he could just tell by the look of the opponent on the other side of the line of scrimmage who was going to block him, and that was by how scared they were.”

Belichick said Taylor knew offensive linemen feared his ability to get past him and could read that as the lineman got into his stance.

“When that tackle was looking at him like, ‘If I’m one split-second late out of my stance, if I am a few inches off on my angle or step, this guy’s going to be behind me.’ They’d have that scared to death look. And Taylor could just tell by looking at the guy whether the guy was blocking him or not,” Belichick said.

Quarterbacks also had a tell: They’d look at Taylor with fear in their eyes before a pass play, and they’d look relieved that they didn’t have to worry about Taylor on a run play.

“The same thing with the quarterback,” Belichick said. “Taylor would anticipate it was a run because the quarterback didn’t care about him, it was somebody else’s problem. But if it was a pass play, and the quarterback looked at Taylor like, ‘Is he rushing? Is he not rushing? Do I have him picked up?’ Before the ball was snapped, he could just tell by the terror he felt from that individual, look in the guy’s eye or how nervous he was from play to play, you know run/pass, which guy’s blocking me, that kind of thing. He would often times come off and tell me that, after the first or second series, he said, ‘I can read this on every play. It’s easy.’ Because the tackle, if he had him in pass protection, was scared to death.”

Belichick called Taylor “the best defensive player I’ve ever coached, by a good margin.”

66 responses to “Bill Belichick: Lawrence Taylor could tell who was blocking him by the fear in their eyes

  1. Lawrence Taylor was the original and the real LT. I’m not a Giants fan but I greatly admired LT’s play on the field – a true game changer.

  2. And there, haters, is why we love BB in New England. Get him talking football and he’s captivating. The typical (mainstream) media types are completely inept when it comes to asking meaningful, thought provoking questions. The man is truly brilliant. Thanks, Coach.

  3. Of course they were scared, they played against him before the softening of what defenders could do and LT could practically rip them in half and not draw a flag.

    He changed the game adding a new element to it that hadn’t been anywhere near as significant before his time.

  4. It is especially rare for any player to become a game changer, much less a linebacker. This headline is just awesome.

  5. all these pc police, naive/faux outrage millennials have no
    idea who taylor is and never saw him play.

    for the rest of us, likely the greatest defensive player of his era and a top 10 defensive player ever.

  6. Taylor was a great LB’er, but he also benefited by having coaches who saw what he could do and let him do it.
    I will go to my grave saying the best LB’er in NFL history was Dick Butkus. I am a Packers fan and I hated Butkus. But he was a one man wrecking machine and had he played on better teams that won championships, he’d have even been better. At 6’3″ and 240 lbs, he was smart, powerful, fast, and brutal. Think about this — in an era which was not a passing era, he intercepted 22 passes in his 9 year career playing at middle linebacker!!

  7. And if he played in today’s NFL, at 6-3 240…He wouldn’t play linebacker.

    They’d probably make him a safety. He’d still be great at pretty much any position but they wouldn’t play him in the front 7 today.

  8. jackedupboonie says:
    September 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

    LT was a freak from the 2000 era portaled back to the 80’s.
    ——————–
    without a doubt. you would think by now someone would be the “next LT”, can’t think of anyone who even comes close. Banks, Carson,and LT may be the best LB corps the NFL has seen.

  9. LT probably knew who was blocking him because Belichick had stolen the offenses signals, not because LT could “see fear in an O-linemen’s eyes”

  10. tebowislife says:
    September 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm
    LT probably knew who was blocking him because Belichick had stolen the offenses signals, not because LT could “see fear in an O-linemen’s eyes”

    ——–

    This from someone that uses tebowislife as their alias. Wow, must be a real football fanatic :rollingeyes:

  11. dickshotdogs says:
    September 16, 2017 at 10:39 am
    And there, haters, is why we love BB in New England. Get him talking football and he’s captivating. The typical (mainstream) media types are completely inept when it comes to asking meaningful, thought provoking questions. The man is truly brilliant. Thanks, Coach.

    ////////////////

    Totally agree, someone has to ask BB how long LT has been his coke supplier.

  12. I wasn’t a Giants fan until watching Taylor in his rookie year. He was like Michael Jordan in that you never knew what he was going to do to takeover a game. I played LB so obviously he was one of two favorite LBs ever (Jack Lambert the other). And yes, they had a really good defense but Taylor revolutioned the pass-rushing LB position. He was fun to watch.

  13. Got to watch LT live dozens of times at Giants Stadium……he not only changed games, he took over games when the game was on the line. Few players have been given the freedom to freelance as LT did, and his motor was the most impressive. Attack from the end, shoot gaps, swallow up RBs….the man was the best. Parcels had the most conservative offensive game plans for good reason, LT and his D owned their opponents.

  14. In the 1986 playoff game, JImbo Covert absolutely destroyed LF. He pancaked him and buried him. By the end of the first quarter he was taking a knee from exhausting. By halftime LT had given up. In the games they played each other LT never got close to the quarterback

    Covert was the most underrated lineman in the history of the NFL and averaged less than 1 sack per year for his career.

  15. kd75 says:
    September 16, 2017 at 11:17 am
    And if he played in today’s NFL, at 6-3 240…He wouldn’t play linebacker.

    They’d probably make him a safety. He’d still be great at pretty much any position but they wouldn’t play him in the front 7 today.

    ——————————————————————————————

    Look closer. The NFL is using safeties who are way smaller than Butkus was as LB’ers in their rhino packages.
    Butkus would play LB’er today or in any other era and be the best LB’er in the NFL. He had it all. The real shame is they didn’t have the surgical techniques they have today. Because when he wrecked his knee, it slowed him down some. But even with that, he was still the best LB’er in football.

  16. There’s an old NFL films video called Crunch Course, and LT is the end part of it and they have him miked up against the hapless Jets, and at or point, after caving in the entire left side he says
    “Boys, you’re going to have to do better than this.”
    How many players now would tell an entire oppossing team this?
    Maybe Watt, but he’s no LT

  17. And the guy who was blocking LT could tell how much whiff he did before the game by the look in LT’s eyes !

  18. Lawrence Taylor is THE reason Left Tackles get paid so much and get taken high in the draft. That all started right there with him in the 80’s. He changed football forever. No question.

    Signed,
    J. Theismann

  19. He said defensive player for obvious reasons. The best PLAYER anyone has ever coached by a huge margin?- just watch the tape of 7 super bowls and count the rings.

    Short version is 4th quarter of SB 49 and
    51. Wont be seen again. LT’s gut isnt half the length of T B’s.

  20. He said defensive player for obvious reasons. Lt’s gut isn’t half the length of TB’s. Not to mention the 7 super bowls and the fact that Taylor is really just a punk overall. Cliff Notes for best PLAYER ever are available on video of the 4th quarters of SB 49 and 51. Enjoy, won’t ever see anything like it.

  21. nje22 wrote:

    There’s an old NFL films video called Crunch Course…

    ———-

    Just watched this on youtube. No wonder all these football players have CTE, I grew up in the 70s, but I forgot how violent the game used to be.

  22. ibillwt says:
    September 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm
    He said defensive player for obvious reasons. The best PLAYER anyone has ever coached by a huge margin?- just watch the tape of 7 super bowls and count the rings.

    Short version is 4th quarter of SB 49 and
    51. Wont be seen again. LT’s gut isnt half the length of T B’s.
    ————-

    He’s the best player, period.

    Brady isn’t even the best QUARTERBACK ever.

  23. I think it’s telling he said best defensive player he’s ever coached by a good margin. Having rodney harrison, bruschi, ty law, revis, aqib talib, wilfork, seymore are all pretty great defensive players and saying by a good margin really states it that much more.

  24. mkreef says:
    September 16, 2017 at 3:29 pm
    nje22 wrote:

    There’s an old NFL films video called Crunch Course…

    ———-

    Just watched this on youtube. No wonder all these football players have CTE, I grew up in the 70s, but I forgot how violent the game used to be.

    —————————————————————————————–

    If you can, check out the early 1960’s CBS Film with Walter Cronkite entitled, “The Violent World Of Sam Huff”. It featured the great MLB’er of the Giants Sam Huff and the footage of the hits is brutal. It was so brutal, Pete Rozelle tried to get CBS not to air it.

  25. There was and hasn’t been anybody in LT’s class, Reggie White was the closest but not on the same level.

  26. LT played the game the right way in a time when it was still fun to watch the NFL. This sissified game today is a joke, give them time and they will be getting paid millions to play flag or two hand touch professional football.

  27. ggreen657 says:
    September 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm
    LT is a stud.

    Bill B is a proven cheater.

    Deal .

    ********************

    LT won 2 Super Bowls.

    Bill B has won 7.

    Deal.

    1 7 Rate This

    ——-

    well, then every nfl
    coach before 2006 is a proven cheater, including chuck knox, bud grant, bill parcells, jimmy johnson, bill cowher, dick vermeil, and yes; even old senile don shula who said “what is the big deal?” in mid september 2007.

    goodell is the proven cheater as proven in a federal court

  28. Taylor was the best OLB I ever saw play. Although most times against the 49ers of the 80’s they would slide out a guard (John Ayers) to block him. It was effective as the Niners beat them in the playoffs in 81 & 84.

  29. collectordude says:
    September 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm
    Taylor was the best OLB I ever saw play. Although most times against the 49ers of the 80’s they would slide out a guard (John Ayers) to block him. It was effective as the Niners beat them in the playoffs in 81 & 84.
    ______________________

    It worked so well LT only had 3 sacks in those 2 games and in ’85 & ’86 the Niners only managed a field goal while losing to the Giants.

  30. collectordude says:
    September 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm
    Taylor was the best OLB I ever saw play. Although most times against the 49ers of the 80’s they would slide out a guard (John Ayers) to block him. It was effective as the Niners beat them in the playoffs in 81 & 84.

    1 1 Rate This

    ————-

    LOL

    bb took over as dc in 1985

    case closed on that one

    one more piece of evidence that shows bb’s greatness

  31. jurere_internacional says:
    September 16, 2017 at 7:31 pm
    Kind of like how BB, TB & the Patsies are afraid of seeing the Giants in Superbowls?

    13 4 Rate This

    —-

    yeah, real “afraid”

    lmao

    tyree and eli manning say hello with their eyes closed hoping for the best

  32. Get outta here with irv pankey. Why? Because one time you heard a parcells story where he used the name to motivate LT?

  33. One day at a New York Giants practice Lawrence Taylor one day decided to take it upon himself to rush the QB from the OLB position and he gets to the QB with ease.

    Belichick yelling at LT: Hey! That’s not in the playbook!

    Lawrence Taylor: well coach, you better put it in there then, because it’s s doozy.

    The rest is history……

  34. Lawerence and Ray Lewis, great linebackers on the field,complete losers on off it.Football people kiss their butts because it helped their careers along the way.

  35. ibillwt says:
    September 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm
    He said defensive player for obvious reasons. Lt’s gut isn’t half the length of TB’s. Not to mention the 7 super bowls and the fact that Taylor is really just a punk overall. Cliff Notes for best PLAYER ever are available on video of the 4th quarters of SB 49 and 51. Enjoy, won’t ever see anything like it.

    If TB had played in the 80’s he would have never made it to 40 still playing. His longevity benefits from all the rules that protect offenses and QBs.

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