Bill Belichick lobbied for more time with players

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There was a high degree of self-congratulation at last week’s owners meetings in Phoenix, as the league embarks on its 100th season.

But Patriots coach Bill Belichick took the opportunity to tell the meeting about ways he thinks the league can be even better — specifically to give coaches more time to work with players.

According to Mike Reiss of, Belichick spoke up during one meeting which included coaches and General Managers, and said that the focus needs to be on improving the game, which can be done with more time to work with players. The last collective bargaining agreement carved five weeks from the offseason program, and coaches have been complaining about it ever since.

“It has a tremendous amount of weight,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of Belichick bringing it up. “There’s so many positive things that could come out of it, in terms of development of young players, helping to really make sure these guys are learning the game and getting them ready for their opportunity

“Keeping players in a structured atmosphere, there are so many tools we have in terms of player development, it makes so much sense that the sooner we can get them and work with them, the better it will be.”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was likewise supportive, calling Belichick “one of the soothsayers” of the league.

“I’m in total support of his position,” Carroll said. “There’s so much down time for these guys. I think there was a time when older players were bargaining for these breaks when they thought less was better. But these guys [today] love the game and want to be part of it. And we love coaching and helping them.

“The game would just be better if we were able to do that, and if we were in connection with them more, they would be healthier as well — we could monitor their well-being. You don’t even have to mandate that. Just give them the option.”

Many times owners will let coaches have their say, and pat them on the head and send them out for a round of golf and do as they please. But perhaps there’s a chance that after listening to coaches on the topic of expanded replay, they’ll be more open in the future for things they believe are for the good of the game.

25 responses to “Bill Belichick lobbied for more time with players

  1. There he goes again, light years ahead of the league. Thank you Coach, for stating clearly what should have been obvious to to the rest of the NFL. smh…..

  2. You can’t run these guys into the ground though. They need time off to rest & heal. Maybe have more time for film study & stuff like that but not actual practices.

  3. I hope they can figure something out so players spend more time training with their teams, specially before the season starts.
    It has been my observation over the years that quality of play, overall, is really sloppy on those first few games (some teams are an embarrassing mess all year, but that is a different problem).
    You expect that well coached teams will get better as the season progresses, but there are too many unwatchable games at the start with tons of stupid penalties, blown coverages, dropped balls, etc.

  4. Agree 100%, these young men need the extra time receiving coaching not only on developing NFL skills but also on the concept of professionalism. A 21 year old is typically clueless on how to behave as a professional. Coaches are their mentors and the current time allotted for professional development is just not ample. These young players have tunnel vision and it takes time (as in any profession), regardless of physical talent.

  5. coming fro a coach who’s had a little success with players i think he might know what’s good for these younger kids coming in or the league can just keep givig them a pile of money & let them go nuts.

  6. “we’re five weeks behind the other teams for the 2017 season”
    Belichick, press conference, the day after winning SB LI.

  7. The trouble is the NFL is so corrupt with ex-Jets employees, and rappers turned agents advising players to sit out entire seasons, that this will not get approved.

  8. Weeks 1 through 4 of the NFL regular season have become “the preseason”. Limited offseason time with players, starters virtually getting no snaps during the laughable 4 preseason games and then you get opening day. And fans get charged for these preseason games. It’s a joke.

  9. ‘One day the prize for winning the Super Bowl will be known as the Belichick trophy… 8 rings, 11 trips.’

    Actually its 8 rings on 12 trips. People forget that he was on the coaching staff of the 96 patriots who also went to the super bowl

  10. As someone who wants to see the AAF survive, this would seem to be the perfect argument in favor of the NFL and NFLPA agreeing to a development league.

  11. Simple solution. League lets the players have their weed, coaches get their 5 weeks back. Easy solution, win win on both sidel.

  12. The current system is obviously not hurting Belichick, so he isn’t saying that to help himself. He’s being the spokesman for the other 31 coaches who all feel the same way, but the words are most powerful when they come from someone who isn’t being self-serving. The end result is that the current system keeps a lot of new players from ever making a team. If you don’t have time to teach the game to new players, it’s easier to sign older, inferior players because they’ve been around already. Maybe that’s what the NFLPA wants to accomplish.

  13. these guys make millions per year and want more time away. how about all of the millions of Americans who go to work every day and make 20 to 30,000 a year. maybe restaurants should give all employees 4 to 5 months off yearly.

  14. Now that players on some coddled teams are getting 10 minute phone breaks every 20 minutes of coaching meetings, the NFL really does need to expand the time coaches have with their men (err, I guess I should say, post-teens).

  15. these guys make millions per year and want more time away. how about all of the millions of Americans who go to work every day and make 20 to 30,000 a year. maybe restaurants should give all employees 4 to 5 months off yearly.they make too much money.

  16. And don’t forget that players avoid the “voluntary” mini camps. Or elect to train themselves in Miami or some place. Then show up and pull a hammy the first week, which lingers all year. Tackling and technique have suffered since the last CBA. They only improve with reps.

  17. I recall the decision to reduce off-season camp 5 weeks was about money. Better prepared teams make for better games early in the season… Look at the Pats records in the month of September since the rule change. (it not that good) It is basically treated at extended training camp.

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