At his press conference on the day after the Patriots’ season-ending loss to the Jets, Bill Belichick scoffed at a question about whether his status as coach of the AFC Pro Bowl team could give him any opportunities to scout players during Pro Bowl practices.
But it turns out that Belichick did, in fact, try to gather a little intelligence from an opposing player during a Pro Bowl practice.
Our friend Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com passes along this tidbit from “Patriots All-Access,” which featured footage of Belichick mic’d up at the Pro Bowl: At one point during a Pro Bowl practice, Belichick approached Colts receiver Reggie Wayne to ask what happened on the regular-season play when New England safety James Sanders intercepted Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to seal a 31-28 Patriots win.
“On that play at the end of our game, did his arm get hit, or did we make it?” Belichick asked Wayne.
Apparently Belichick had spent the previous couple of months wondering whether rookie outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham deserved credit for hitting Manning’s arm on the pass, and the all-22 film that Belichick watched didn’t show that definitively.
It’s interesting that Belichick asked Wayne, not Manning, that question. I guess that’s just the sneaky way Belichick does things.