Belichick says players practicing but not playing is “pretty common”


On some Mondays, Patriots coach Bill Belichick provides an unintentionally humorous example of his staunchly monotonous name, rank, and serial number approach to football when reciting the same answer, over and over, in response to a given question.

This year, the focal point has been tight end Rob Gronkowski, whose status has resulted in a flat-line chorus of “he was inactive” and “day-to-day” from the head coach.

This week, Belichick matter-of-factly downplayed talk of a schism between player and team, which reportedly has emerged based on Gronkowski’s consistently strong performances in practice and his persistent inability to play.

“[U]ltimately the players have to be cleared medically before we can put them in the game,” Belichick told reporters, via quotes distributed by the team.  “There are a lot of players that practice that aren’t ready to play yet, but they’re ready to participate in practice.  That’s pretty common.”

Belichick also addressed the process for putting a player on the active game-day roster.

“I would say there are a lot of things that go into it, a combination obviously of medical clearance and making up the active roster for the 46 guys,” Belichick said.  “Each week, we go through the process with all the players and do what we feel like is best for the team.  Obviously, medical considerations are a big part of it, so we’ll do that with every player.”

While we wouldn’t expect Belichick to admit to the existence of any frustrations with Gronkowski, Belichick’s explanation makes plenty of sense.  Clearance to practice remains much different than clearance to play, especially after the 2011 CBA significantly restricted in-season padded practices.

The best news for the Patriots is that, despite all the flaws and issues an injuries, they’re 5-1.  When Gronkowski returns, they’ll only get better.

33 responses to “Belichick says players practicing but not playing is “pretty common”

  1. .


    Redskins win totals since 2001: 8, 7, 5, 6, 10, 5, 9, 8, 4, 6, 5, 10, 1* = 84

    Patriots win totals since 2001 : 11, 9, 14, 14, 10, 12, 16, 11, 10, 14, 13, 12, 4* = 150

    #my season ends in September


  2. “logicalvoicesays says:
    Oct 14, 2013 1:08 PM

    Zero Superbowls since Spygate. #Cheater”

    Using that logic would indicate that since the Washington Redskins have zero Superbowls since 1991 they must be cheaters as well…

    Simple logic problem…
    If team A fails to achieve result B (i.e. won the superbowl) then the cause is C (i.e. they cheated).

    The only problem there is virtually NO INTERNAL validity in this type of reasoning.

    The relationship cannot demonstrate nonspuriousness due to things like league changes such as free-agency, positioning in the draft, etc.

    Kind of the same way Logicalvoices deals with the success and failure of his team… The ‘ skins win = they are a dominant force and the best team in the league. The ‘skins lose = there is some grand conspiracy against his team and ALL games are predetermined and/or rigged through paid off referees, Goodell, failure to wear the appropriate tin foil cap while watch the games, you name it…

  3. I’m with spoilerfutbol. Without cheating, the Patriots are about the same as the Redskins. Great comparison. But why does everyone assume they stopped cheating after Spygate? Belichick clearly thinks he can’t win without cheating, or he wouldn’t have done it in the first place. So why would he stop?

  4. logical voice has too many issue’s to even address here but he is dead on right about one thing:

    Belichick is without a doubt one of the NFL’s most notorious cheaters of all time. He can thank Von Miller for providing some company on that exclusive list.

  5. vodm445 says:
    Oct 14, 2013 1:58 PM
    I’m with spoilerfutbol. Without cheating, the Patriots are about the same as the Redskins. Great comparison. But why does everyone assume they stopped cheating after Spygate? Belichick clearly thinks he can’t win without cheating, or he wouldn’t have done it in the first place. So why would he stop?

    so,, we still have the Broncos, 49ers, Steelers, Redskins and Cowboys all cheating the salary cap?
    The Steelers’ ownership is still more than 50% vested into gambling operations?

    and how do you know what Belichick could possibly be thinking? His son standing on the sidelines probably has 10 times the football knowledge you’ll ever claim to have.

  6. It’s not about football. It’s human nature. No one cheats if they have confidence in themselves. A student who has studied and knows TE content cold doesn’t need to cheat. Only the student who doubts his ability to pass cheats. Belichick clearly doesn’t have confidence in himself as a coach or he would believe he could win honestly.

  7. logicalvoicesays says:

    Zero Superbowls since Spygate. #Cheater

    Actually 2 Super Bowls since spygate, they may not have won them but they weren’t blown out and showed clearly in 2007 that the sideline taping made no difference to how well the offense performed.

    Also, maybe someday you’ll look up Shanahan’s history since you worship him as “the best coach ever in any sport ever”.

    Denver was docked draft picks just like the Pats for the Bronco’s salary cap cheating to win their 2 Super Bowls. Note that Shanny hasn’t won a SB since his cheating. And upon arriving in Washington he played games during the uncapped year and was penalized again since the league repeatedly warned him he went far beyond what the league was going to allow teams to do in that uncapped year.

  8. Also forgot to say, the bitter tears and crying of the Pats haters are just a sweet sauce on another victory.

  9. Not a Pats hater. I hate cheaters. Won’t justify it or rationalize it. It’s called ethics. I won’t cheer for Lance Armstrong if he returns to cycling either.

  10. Speaking of rationalization! I think others must cheat so I guess it’s okay for me. I should cheat on my wife because others do based on that logic. I could even commit murder. Other people do that, too! Sheesh!

  11. All these spygate comments are so ignorant. Why don’t all of you look up what actually happened before you throw around all these ridiculous comments.

  12. Belichick is the best coach ever. Brady is one of the best qb’s ever.

    The hate from the other idiots is because of the success of the Pats. If you’re not hated, you’re not very successful. Most people hate success because they’re not successful.

    Every team cheats in one way or another. If you think they don’t, then you live in a very sheltered life.

  13. Deejayhen spot on. Here’s the difference with the pats and everyone else. Due to free agency and parity teams are supposed to have a few good years followed by some down years. The system has worked very well with a few issues. The jags and the pats. The jags can’t climb out of their whole and the pats have not stopped being a threat to win the Super Bowl since 2001. You can’t deny it. Our down years mean a super bowl loss. Our worst year since 2091 was when Brady went down and we still managed 11 wins. Hate him all you want but since we got caught “cheating” we are still a powerhouse.

  14. Facts:

    The Patriots cheated in week 1 of 2007, they broke the rules and that is the textbook definition of cheating. That is something that cannot be spun any other way.

    Belichick should have spent more time doing what he was paid to do, coaching that team…and less time trying to play lawyer interpreting a league memo forbidding taping from the sidelines. A job that he was not paid to do.

    And…the Patriots did not cheat to win their Super Bowl titles. That memo banning taping from the sidelines came out in 2006, after they won all their titles. That is also something that cannot be spun. Ain’t cheating if it was legal.

  15. @hearing voices
    The Pats didn’t need any help the last time they pounded the Redskins, sending them into a tailspin on their way to a typical Redskins 5-11 season.

    since spygate

    Redskins 9, 8, 4, 6, 5, 10 (1-4 this year)
    Pats 16, 11, 10, 14, 13, 12 (5-1 this year)

    at least no one is accusing the pats of having a r@ci$t name.

  16. brazzz01 says

    “The Patriots cheated in week 1 of 2007, they broke the rules and that is the textbook definition of cheating. That is something that cannot be spun any other way.”


    Every week in every game, players cheat. If they are called for a penalty, which is breaking a rule, then, by YOUR definition, they cheated. The player that intentionally commits P.I. to save a TD or a lineman that intentionally holds to save his QB from being hammered, cheated. Again, by YOUR definition, a simple breaking of a rule is cheating.

    BTW, I disagree with your definition. You, and all other haters, ignore the fact that what was filmed is not illegal. Teams can film whatever they want. They cannot have a camera on the sideline. Why? Because the “bigger” and more important rule is that teams cannot view in game film during the game that is being filmed, which is why Matt Walsh’s statements that he never gave any tapes to anyone until AFTER the games blows up the haters’ arguments that Belichick cheated. Did he break a rule? Yes. Was it cheating in a nefarious way? No. Why? Because there was no evidence that Belichick viewed any in game film. He simply broke a rule like what happens in every game.

    IMO, salary cap circumvention and tampering is FAR worse than what Belichick did. Why? Because in those instances, front offices are illegally putting a “better” product together by concealing their intentions. What Belichick did was something that others have done in the past. The league had previously asked for teams to stop with no consequences for their actions (the boy who cried wolf mentality). Goodell, as the new sherriff in town, didn’t like his new authority challenged especially after hearing the questions from the PA about his new player conduct policies. “What are you gonna do if management behaves poorly?” was the question. Unfortunately, Belichick gave Goodell the chance he needed to show what he would do.

    As one earlier comment said, do a little research into the history of the league and of what actually happened with Spygate and what has happened since 2007 in terms of league rules about cameras on the sidelines. I think you’ll see (if you can wipe away the fog of jealousy and hate) that Spygate was simply WAY overblown.

  17. bcgreg,

    If you read my posts, it will be clear I am no Patriots hater. What I am is objective and they clearly cheated with the camera in that Jets game. There is no objective way to say they didn’t. They cannot have a camera on the sidelines. So why did Bill? He tried to get around the rules to gain an advantage.

    And why are you talking about Matt Walsh? I’m talking about week 1 of 2007. They blatantly and flagrantly disregarded the memo, they were found in violation of the rules, and paid the price. You call it breaking a rule. The dictionary calls it cheating.

    Your analogy to a “penalty” is not a good one. The rulebook says pass interference is a penalty, and teams that get caught by the ref will be penalized. And THAT is following the rules of the game. The rules dictate what happens to a team that commits pass interference, they are penalized with a spot foul against them. Intent is irrelevant. What Belichick did in week 1 of 2007 is not following the rules, it was getting around them to gain an advantage. See the difference?

    About salary cap circumvention, that is cheating of a different form, but it is still cheating. It’s not justifiable to cheat by using the fact there are other ways to cheat as an excuse. It’s like me as a pro athlete taking an illegal PED to heal faster and then justifying it by saying at least I’m not using PEDs to gain an advantage on the field over another athlete. Nope, I am cheating no matter what my reason is.

    The Patriots got punished, their reputation took a massive hit, and justifiably so.

    I agree that a lot of Pats haters say dopey things and I laugh at them too… but I also I know plenty of Patriots fans who have no problem calling a spade a spade. I know that Bill deep down wishes he didn’t make the decision to cheat by playing lawyerish word games with that memo instead of doing what he was paid to do and coach that football team.

  18. Most overrated player in the NFL. Talib exposed this guy, he can’t handle a physical corner. Put a hand on this guy and watch him wilt like week old lettuce.

    Talib was allowed to commit pass interference cheap shots at every turn. The refs were pathetic, and anyone who watched that game knows it.
    There’s a pic running around the web showing the last play of the game, by the Pats. A Saints defender, coming after Tom Brady, is held, from behind, in an obvious chokehold, and as usual, no flag.
    The NFL should’ve fired every ref that was on the field.
    Can Jimmy Graham catch a pass, while being mugged? No; nor can anyone else.
    It was thoughtful for the refs to remove their Patriots Fan Gear, and don Referee Uniforms before stepping onto the field.
    Pats fans call it a win. The rest of the world calls it cheating.
    How many Superbowl rings do the Patriots have since being caught cheating? It looks like they never stopped.
    Sad day in the NFL.
    Too bad the Patriots can’t claim they’ve held every team they played to 14 points, or less. They were outplayed the entire game, with 15 men on the field.
    The Saints would beat the Patriots, on a neutral field, 10 out of 10 times, and it’s too bad they won’t get to meet again this season. Anyone who thinks the Pats will make it thru the playoffs is delusional.
    Denver, the only good team in the AFC, will meet New Orleans for the ring.

  19. 20bust11,

    While you’re in the mood to complain about refs… what is your take on the block in the back that was not called on Will Smith in Super Bowl 44 when he illegally shoved Peyton Manning to the ground and sprung Tracy Porter to his pick 6?

    Maybe the result would be different if the flag was thrown like it should have been….

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