Belichick tells defensive players they’re not good enough for offense

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick delivered a lengthy soliloquy at his press conference on Wednesday about a subject that may be sore with some of his defensive players.

Belichick said that most players who play defense do so because they were once on offense but weren’t good enough. As Belichick sees it, if you’re the best playmaker on offense, you’ll stay there. It’s the guys who aren’t quite as good on offense who become defensive players.

“I mean look, a lot of defensive players get moved [from] offense because they’re not good enough on offense, right? High school coaches, college coaches, if they have somebody better and you have another good player at that position, instead of stacking them up you just move them somewhere where he can get on the field quicker,” Belichick said. “If you’re a high school or college coach you’re not going to take your best running back and put him at – I mean it’d be rare to put him somewhere else. You’re going to give him the ball and let him be a productive scorer for you.”

Belichick said that on the line, it’s the opposite: The guys who end up on the offensive line are there because they weren’t fast enough to play on the defensive line.

“Most of those guys do get moved and most of the offensive linemen get moved from defense because they don’t run well enough,” Belichick said. “If they ran better they probably would play on defense because those guys are hard to find. So to see those players offensively that can run a four-nine, five-flat [40-yard dash] at those kinds of weights, most of them are first, second-round left tackles. That’s where most of them show up. That’s a premium position on offense so if you have that kind of an athlete you probably either play him on defense or you play him at left tackle. That’s where they go. I don’t think you move a defensive lineman to the offensive line unless you’re either going to move him to left tackle or, again, you have so many defensive lineman that you can afford to move him. Usually you move them because they don’t run well enough and offensively you move them because you have other guys that can catch the ball better, or more elusive runners, or more productive playmakers and then they move. Sometimes some guys find their spot right away and they stay in it.”

So if there are any cornerbacks hoping to lobby Belichick for a chance to touch the ball on offense, don’t bother.

“That’s a general statement,” Belichick said. “It’s not meant towards any specific player. Although I think most of the defensive players need to understand that the reason they don’t play offense is because they’re not good enough to play offense.”

109 responses to “Belichick tells defensive players they’re not good enough for offense

  1. Parcells told Ty Law the same thing when he wanted to play some offense. “If you could catch it, you’d be a receiver”.

  2. That’s just Belichick’s way of firing up the Defense for the Miami game.
    Nothing to see here,move along.

  3. Sure knows how to get his defense motivated before a game that many players likely view as mostly meaningless. BB needs a win to ensure the top seed.

  4. This may leave some guys feeling a little salty, but it may also give them some extra motivation. Belichick is the GOAT head coach, like him or not.

  5. That’s something that everyone intuitively understands as they watch high school wide receivers become defensive backs in college. I’m not sure what there is to be gained by saying it out loud, but no one has ever gained in reputation by second-guessing BB either.

  6. If you heard the presser the comments made absolute sense in context but it’s Belichick so of course people are going to read something else into it. Just remember this is also the coach that had Troy Brown at DB and Mike Vrabel catching touchdown passes.

  7. How has Mike Vrable not come up during this discussion?

    Vrable was freaking MONEY as a TE. Every pass he caught was a TD. He was targeted 14 times and caught 10 of those passes all ten for TD’s.

    While I agree with BB it also doesn’t mean you can’t be productive on both sides of the ball. (or all three phases of the game like BB so often says.)

  8. I agree when it comes to the secondary and D-Line, but not so much when it comes to linebackers. I don’t think anyone on offense can play linebacker as well

  9. Always fun to listen a long Belichick statement when he feels like explaining any thought process he may have with regard to the game. Not that this one was eye-opening in any way, but it’s better than the one or two word grunts when he doesn’t care for questions regarding injuries, previous game decisions or the like.

  10. Don’t entirely agree….The guy at LT is there because he’s 6’8″ and 350. The DT, while faster, isn’t playing LT because he’s only 6’5″ and 300. Size differentiates between DL and OL determine where they go, not just 40 times.

  11. As a coach with over 15 years experience myself… He is right to a certain extent..Slower Dline get moved to Oline in most cases. However, in all other cases this is not true whatsoever. For example: IF you have a linebacker that is fast and hits like a truck- you do not move him to running back.

  12. Always fun to listen a long Belichick statement when he feels like explaining any thought process he may have with regard to the game. Not that this one was eye-opening in any way, but it’s better than the one or two word grunts when he doesn’t care for questions regarding injuries, previous game decisions or the like.

    ———-

    Um, would you like to waste time answering dopey questions everyday and fending off baiting questions at the same time?

    No, you wouldn’t.

    Pats fans LOVE how BB handles the intrusive and sneaky Boston media.

  13. Bill is just saying that to be funny. It actually applies more to high school. If Bill actually believes this, he would put his WRs in at CB when the game is on the line. I don’t think it was WR that picked off Russell Wilson on the goal line in the super bowl. BB is pulling our leg. The best athlete to ever play the game is Deion Sanders. They used to put him in at WR with the game on the line.

  14. McCourty’s presser after was terrific. He agreed essentially with BB about the skill set of defensive players. He also reminded the reporters that defensive players like the physical aspect of the game and that offensive skill position players are rarely as physical as defensive players and those that are really stand out.

    It was one of the more entertaining Wednesday media sessions in a while.

    There was no acrimony.

  15. Not to take away from BB (he is one of the best coaches ever), but this isn’t exactly ground breaking news…everybody with an ounce of football intelligence knows this..

  16. I don’t know if BB said this because he was feeling expansive or trying to play some mind games. I am betting, though, that Deion Sanders will be losing his mind over it and that should be hilarious.

  17. “Parcells told Ty Law the same thing when he wanted to play some offense. “If you could catch it, you’d be a receiver”.”

    Lol Ty caught quite a few passes from Peyton Manning.

  18. And, coaches who cheat are GOAT only to those who have very low standards for greatness. (Unless they mean greatest cheater of all time, in which case they’re right.)

  19. ” absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence” retorted a former Secretary of Defense. Feeling sorry for the Fins this weekend… a definite “known known”

  20. A lot of this has to do with where you go to college. If you go to a powerhouse like Alabama or Ohio State and you are part of a class with 4 Stud RB’s and 4 stud WR’s then some of those guys have to switch positions out of necessity. So a lot of RB’s become LB’s or DE’s and a lot of WR’s become DB’s (Corner or safety)

    Take Trent Richardson for example. In a different universe he could have been a terrific LB. He got too big to be a RB. But he would have had to make that switch back when he was a freshman in college. Throughout the history of football there are probably dozens upon dozens of players that never made the NFL because they played a particular position in college, that was great for their college career but never helped them reach their full pro potential. Like Tm Tebow. Say he switched to TE as a freshman at Florida. He would have never won a Heisman. He may have never won a national championship. But he may have been a all pro TE that had a 12 year career. But it is what it is and now we will never know. Infinite paths lead to infinite outcomes.

  21. iamsmarterthanall says:
    Dec 29, 2016 10:27 AM
    If you cant win legitimatly…………then CHEAT.

    ~Bill Belichik~

    If the team you root for isn’t as good as the Patriots and the coach of that team isn’t as good as BB…….then go on the Internet and CRY.

    ~iamsmarterthanall~

  22. And yet defense wins championships. You don’t try to find guys like Lawrence Taylor or any of your premier pass rushers or corner backs positions on offense. And you don’t try to turn Brian Urlacher or Ray Lewis into a TE or a fullback.

    Belicheck knows this he is just toying with media types.

  23. This is hardly breaking new ground. The list of guys who made an impact on both sides of the ball is a short one.

  24. “As usual a long line of sheep form bleating in unison …..”

    Yup, you and the rest who failed 5th grade science and don’t understand that all teams steal signals are all humiliating yourselves here as usual.

  25. He didn’t get to be the GOAT by having dissension issues on his teams and I doubt this effort to gin some up will get anywhere.

    And by the way, even those who try to pretend he ain’t the GOAT can probably count to six. And wouldn’t it be great to see him popping that seventh ring at Kraft’s party next year?

  26. BB’s conflicting statements regarding talent needed seem to have been overlooked by a few…

    to wit:

    Belichick said that on the line, it’s the opposite: The guys who end up on the offensive line are there because they weren’t fast enough to play on the defensive line.

    “Most of those guys do get moved and most of the offensive linemen get moved from defense because they don’t run well enough,” Belichick said

  27. I think a lot of people are going to miss the context here. He was pretty clear that he was talking about the majority of kids who want to play offense who get switched to defense. Not the other way around. Not when they’re already at the pro level. He’s talking children, high school, and early college. When they say, “what position do you want to play?” most kids will pick an offensive position and a good number of those will be switched to defense.

  28. bannedfromchoir- how about you Broncos not even making it to playoffs? Have fun watching other teams play:)

  29. He just happens to be right. Verbalizing the truth may rub some people the wrong way, but the GOAT has earned the right to speak his mind.

  30. BB tells is like it is. Meanwhile, in Buffalo – our former coach who was supposed to be good on defense had 10 men on the field with the season on the line…..

  31. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!

    Might be shocking to the average armchair QB but the players hear this kind of stuff their whole football career. It’s a high performance sport. Positioning players for offense or defense is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of facing criticism for these guys. Most of the players in the league face the possibility of being cut every week. The Patriots cut and re-signed Ray Ventrone a few years ago about a dozen times in a year. Players are worried about making it in the NFL and staying there far more then being relegated to defense because their hands aren’t good enough.

    These comments won’t bother the players.

  32. nhpats | Dec 29, 2016, 10:48 AM EST
    Quiet people…..the greatest coach of all time is speaking…

    You need to be a more respectful sheep….Lombardi is dead.

  33. Maybe someone should remind Bill that his defense is carrying the team. The patriots defense has given up 30 points LESS than the next closes defense (Seattle). Not sure about you, but any team in the top 25 would be in the playoffs if their defense gave up FAR less points than any other defense in the league.

  34. Great Caesar’s Ghost says:
    Dec 29, 2016 11:14 AM

    Thats the same as when Bill planned to kick off to the 1 yd line, it was a plan that was well talked about before the season started with the new kickoff rules. Everyone had that plan, but ppl in NE think bill invented this. I remember last year when the patriots lost to the jets in week 16, NE fans said Bill did it on purpose to knock the steelers out of the playoffs. They said bill was a ‘genius’ for doing that. Then they lost to the fins in week 17 and lost home field advantage. Even when new england loses, their fans are so delusional they think its ‘on pupose’ LOLOLOLOLOL

  35. He just happens to be right. Verbalizing the truth may rub some people the wrong way, but the GOAT has earned the right to speak his mind.
    _____________________________________
    You never alienate your personnel for no reason. Great leadership Bill. Way to motivate.

  36. BB will shut you down if you ask stupid questions. He will expound on topics if you ask him questions the right way.
    BB or any coach will or should put players on positions that will maximize their talents. That is what he is saying straight up. No need for players to be offended.

  37. Nofoolnodrool says:
    Dec 29, 2016 10:25 AM

    As usual a long line of sheep form bleating in unison …..BB is the goat we are the faithful sheep who worship at his feet. Amusing to watch.-
    ——————————————
    Hahahahahahaha, you’re jealous. Your team will not go to the super bowl and ours will. I almost understand your frustration……..almost. Enjoy the off season!

  38. Love or hate the Patriots, this man is a legend that any player or aspiring coach should listen too with a pen and pad handy whenever he speaks about the game of football.

  39. Owners and coaches in the NFL relate to humans in many ways like a plantation, referring to and treating people like property.
    The lives, careers and roles of their “property” are decided upon, shuffled, traded, bartered over.
    their promos pitch it as meritocratic, and somehow ‘just’. This is self-serving fiction.
    selective ‘justness’ owing to ad hoc assessment by emperor types inimical to democratic rule. It is more like the slave system its structure borrows from.

  40. Football fans outside of New England: “Well, yeah, that’s pretty straightforward and obvious.”

    Neanderthal Patriot fans: “He’s a GENIUS!”

    ———–

    Umm, you do realize Pats fans do this to get a rise out of people like you, right?

    For every moronic “he’s a cheater, which is why he’s great” comment, we’ll return serve with “GOAT” or “genius” as many times as we like.

    People like you started this a decade ago and continue on with it, so when it’s time to pay, you will pay.

    Your choice.

    Either have some respect for a 40 year veteran of the NFL with a resume that will take 2 hours to read off at Canton at the HOF, or pipe down.

  41. Why do people think he’s being harsh? Defensive players already know this. A good coach plays a player to their strength. If you can run real fast and change direction on a dime but you can’t catch a football. Why would you be playing receiver? Play DB, then I f you do catch a football that’s a bonus. If you can find the holes and read the line but can’t run fast enough to out run some one, why would you be playing RB? Use those skills to clog the holes as a LB. he’s not saying they’re terrible athletes, he’s saying they have a deficiency as an offensive player that makes them a better defensive player.

  42. Nofoolnodrool says:
    Dec 29, 2016 10:25 AM

    “As usual a long line of sheep form bleating in unison …..BB is the goat we are the faithful sheep who worship at his feet. Amusing to watch.”

    Classic truth…preach!

  43. People’s bodies develop differently from when they are kids in HS into adulthood in college.

    Look at a Deion or a Charles Woodson. Nobody would say they couldn’t catch. They just didn’t develop into the body type you want for a WR or RB.

  44. It never ceases to amaze how all Pat fans feel they are personally responsible for the success of their team, the coaches, the players. You wanna run that by me and tell me how it works. How many tds have you scored this year? Because your team is good that makes you good, right? Man, that is messed up.

  45. Almost 20 years of coaching HS Football, I’ll tell you that is 100% accurate.

    Also, Offensive players tend to be more “rote memory” and Defensive players are more reactionary types.

    Offense = order
    Defense = ordered chaos

  46. If it’s coming from Belichick I’m tempted to believe it. That would explain why there are so many superstar WRs and so few superstar corners.

    I still think being a true shutdown corner is harder though.

  47. He may be correct except for one position, linemen. Most offensive linemen are just big guys who fill a gap and make it hard for the more athletic defensive linemen to go around. Being a DL takes much more athleticism than OL, with the rushing ability, even with some dropping back into pass coverage and such. Sure, OL players have to be more mobile now, but they are still the least athletic players on a team, except for kickers.

  48. The long suffering Pitt’s trolls can’t resist to cry on every patriots thread, only to vanish after their team is owned. 9-3 complete domination by the Patriots, period. Keep crying.

  49. I understand his points. DBs are DBs and not WRs because they’re lacking something (ie. quick, but wouldn’t be a not necessarily tall enough–or they can’t catch, can’t run routes, etc.). You can be a great DB covering a receiver and breaking up a play–even if you don’t get the pick.

    Conversely, a WR couldn’t be a DB because he couldn’t tackle (let’s forget Deion for a sec) or he lacks in covering, for example. The same points can be made for, and against, both offense and defense. You want the best players in each position, and adjust.

  50. “He may be correct except for one position, linemen.”

    You could read the whole post. You’d see Belichick saying exactly the same thing.

  51. Vrabel was good for 1-2 TD passes per season. That doesn’t mean he could play offense full-time. He’s no Gronkowski.

  52. ON FOOTBALL FIELDS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY

    [player #1 runs 40 yards]
    COACH: Wow, you’re really fast. Stand over there with the offense.
    [they throw Player #1 a football, he drops it]
    COACH: Why don’t you stand over there with the defense instead.

    [Player #2 walks up to the coach]
    COACH: You’re awful big, why don’t you go over there with the other big guys and run a 40.
    [Player #2 finishes the dash well behind the pack]
    COACH: I think we’ll put you somewhere where you don’t have to run much–like the offensive line.

    Hardly genius, folks…

  53. Earl Campbell started out playing middle linebacker more than running back. And he probably dropped more passes than he caught in his career.
    Turned out OK, tho.

  54. 72DolphinsStillUnmatched says:
    Dec 29, 2016 2:41 PM
    BB should have said this in 2007 before the epic choke job against the Giants
    ___________________

    The Patriots did not choke, the Giants won. Perhaps you could find someone you know that actually understands football to explain the difference to you

  55. One day, it will be too much and then he will be done. I understand pushing players but sometimes push becomes emasculating and when it does players are more prone to play just for their contracts, shedding any desire or pride in team identification. When that happens you mess with the magic and sometimes when that’s gone it’s gone for good.
    Coming from a Pats fan.

  56. jag1959 says:
    Dec 29, 2016 7:10 PM

    72DolphinsStillUnmatched says:
    Dec 29, 2016 2:41 PM
    BB should have said this in 2007 before the epic choke job against the Giants
    ___________________

    The Patriots did not choke, the Giants won. Perhaps you could find someone you know that actually understands football to explain the difference to you
    ———————————————————
    Ignore him, he and his team are irrelevant. Going on 17 years without a playoff win.

  57. Nofoolnodrool says:
    Dec 29, 2016 10:25 AM
    As usual a long line of sheep form bleating in unison …..BB is the goat we are the faithful sheep who worship at his feet. Amusing to watch.

    ______________________________________

    Just like it would be amusing to watch a tank running you over. Perhaps you didn’t realize has one of the best win loss records in pro football? AND he’s the GM of the team? And has 6 rings? BB the COACH is a genius, but BB the GM is even better. The ebb and flow of players and how he manipulates the draft alone make him the best at both. Please name your sorry team and we can compare. Heck, Lombardi didn’t do what BB has done. NOBODY HAS. So you can sit there in your puddle of snark and make sneery faces, but the facts just made a fool out of you.

  58. davedsone says:
    Dec 30, 2016 8:26 AM
    Nofoolnodrool says:
    Dec 29, 2016 10:25 AM
    As usual a long line of sheep form bleating in unison …..BB is the goat we are the faithful sheep who worship at his feet. Amusing to watch.

    ______________________________________

    Perhaps you didn’t realize has one of the best win loss records in pro football? … BB the COACH is a genius, but BB the GM is even better.

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

    Nofoolnodrool and davedsone are both right. No need to argue.

    (1) Belichick is the best coach in the NFL. Hands down, no argument.

    (2) A large chunk of Pats fans that post in response to BB-related articles are complete sheep. The mindlessness that gets posted in these comments is pathetic to read through.

  59. For all the dopes posting “but what about Mike Vrabel & Deon Sanders?” …. if you read the last paragraph, you would see BB’s wrap-up:
    “That’s a general statement,” Belichick said. “It’s not meant towards any specific player”.

    Geez, of course he knows about Vrabel! It was BB who acquired him from Pitt and turned him into a Star blend of LB/DE, with some work at TE on goal line.

  60. I have noticed many times a linebacker or defensive back will drop a ball thrown right to them, and no one really complains about the drop. If a receiver drops a comparable pass, it’s a big embarrassment.

  61. ihavepriors says:
    Dec 29, 2016 12:34 PM

    It never ceases to amaze how all Pat fans feel they are personally responsible for the success of their team, the coaches, the players. You wanna run that by me and tell me how it works. How many tds have you scored this year? Because your team is good that makes you good, right? Man, that is messed up

    It cease to amaze anyone how some folks feel the need to explain how BB will go wrong, eventually.

    Please, regale us with the tales of your vast NFl championship coaching experience, since BB is such a dolt.

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