Bill Belichick: Matthew Slater is to special teams what Brady is to offense, LT to defense

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick had some very high praise for his longtime special teams captain Matthew Slater.

Belichick said that Slater’s impact on special teams compares with Tom Brady‘s impact on offense and Lawrence Taylor’s impact on defense.

“[Slater] will go up there, in the kicking game, with Brady on offense and Taylor on defense. So I feel very, very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach all the players, but I’d say those three in particular,” Belichick said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.

That’s high praise indeed. Brady is, of course, widely considered the best player in NFL history, and Taylor is considered by many to be the best defensive player in NFL history. Slater has been discussed as a potential future Hall of Famer. Belichick would clearly endorse his selection.

54 responses to “Bill Belichick: Matthew Slater is to special teams what Brady is to offense, LT to defense

  1. Players who aren’t good to play offense or defense would never get my vote. They’re basically the best if mediocrity. Send the thumbs down way.

  2. If there’s an area of the game that fans largely don’t understand the nuances of, myself included, is special teams. I don’t think the average Joe can tell you things about it other than we know when it looks bad.

    Have to defer to BB on this, and maybe NE fans too, if the guy means that much to special teams who am i to question it.

  3. I don’t know if you can make it into the Hall of Fame strictly as a special teams guy. Seems like a stretch. But if so, Slater qualifies.

  4. That’a a ridiculous concept. Many fans know ST can make it break a game but theres a reason why guys lions skater exist. Why do great players in the NHL play ST? Cause the risk is small. They don’t their star players getting injured in football so let’s have everybody put on mediocrity. Matthew Slater would be a stud ECHL player.

  5. This is an old quote (at least over a week old anyway). That being said, as a hardcore Pats fan, BB is a freaking idiot! Coming in as a sub-par HC leading the Browns to an under .500 record, it was Brady that made Bill look like a genius. LT gave Bill that wasted opportunity with the Browns by making Bill Parcels’ Giants team epic with BB as a defensive coordinator. No more TB12, no more cheap players flocking to the Pats to win a ring. Slater is a good player, NO DOUBT, but to put him on the level of the people that CREATED BB’s LEGACY is a moral sin.

    Troy Brown > Matthew Slater

  6. I remember years ago when championship coach BB kept silent and let the actions of his players speak for themselves. Grasping for a wildcard bid today, Billy now has to talk his lesser players up to justify his head coaching status. Robert Kraft is now watching — and evaluating…

  7. Brady is not the “best player” in NFL history. He is in the discussion with Jim Brown or even a Lawrence Taylor. Each in their eras at those positions, absolutely.

    It’s like saying Gretzky was better than Orr and then you talk to 90 year old former NHL players, and they all say Orr.

    Slater is the best gunner I’ve ever seen and that is with all due respect to Don Beebe was also outstanding in his era, but Slater has 5 sb appearances and 3 rings.

    He should get HOF consideration for that reason. If fhese “lesser” roles have some discrimination element to them, I get it, but if you are that great at your craft for 15 years and have these other great leadership qualities, check those boxes and put him in Canton.

  8. I would’ve said Steve Tasker from the old Buffalo teams or Devin Hester … I looked up Slater because I don’t follow the Pats… he lines right up there with those two.

  9. It’s amazing a guy can play maybe 15 ST plays a game and be a multi Millionaire. What a great Country 😀

  10. Not to mention Slater’s talent for calling heads in critical coin flip situations. Just ask the Falcons or the Chiefs.

  11. Why LT? Couldn’t he think of a Patriot’s defensive player for the comparison? Andre Tippett wants an explanation.

  12. badrobot74 says:
    April 3, 2022 at 6:14 pm
    I would’ve said Steve Tasker from the old Buffalo teams or Devin Hester … I looked up Slater because I don’t follow the Pats… he lines right up there with those two.

    32Rate This

    ——————

    Whoops, I meant Tasker, although Beebe was a good little player back in the day.

  13. If you never saw Tasker play you’d understand why he should be in. It’s the hall of fame for NFL players. Not onky for offense and defense. Hester deserves in as well. You literally had to punt the ball out of bounds away from him. Slater? He is special but outside of new England nobody knows who he is. Do they game plan against him? Prob not. Just stay in your lanes and plug the whole

  14. If you never saw Tasker play you’d understand why he should be in. It’s the hall of fame for NFL players. Not onky for offense and defense. Hester deserves in as well. You literally had to punt the ball out of bounds away from him. Slater? He is special but outside of new England nobody knows who he is. Do they game plan against him? Prob not. Just stay in your lanes and plug the who

  15. 10 Pro Bowl appearances, 5 time All-Pro.

    The guy is pushing 40 and is double covered on every kick, but he’s still the first guy to the ball.

  16. BB is great but was also lucky enough to have coached the greatest QB and the greatest pass rushing OLB of all time. We’ll never see a coach get that again in a career. Oh and he had Moss a few years. Probably the greatest wide out ever. Wow.

  17. I understand the thought process behind downgrading special teams players. Just taking a roster spot until you can earn a starting spot.

    The difference is that Slater wasn’t one of those guys. Like Steve Tasker, he became a professional Special Teams player. I assume he gave up his dream to be a starter on offense or defense and focused solely on special teams play.

    What a treat it must have been to coach a player like that and have a teammate who was so unselfish.

    I don’t think he should make the hall, but I wouldn’t begrudge that either.

  18. cletuspstillwaterjr says:
    April 3, 2022 at 6:29 pm
    Why LT? Couldn’t he think of a Patriot’s defensive player for the comparison? Andre Tippett wants an explanation.

    ——-

    Because Tylor was better….. He could take over a game . Just like Brady can take over a game.

  19. Yes bb “had moss a few years” too – when all the experts had said he was past and lost his speed. Bb was widely ridiculed for the trade AND even more so for giving up a 2nd round for welker the same year. He made his own luck.

  20. LT is the best player in NFL history…I would put Brady in the top 3-5 though.

  21. I get he is a great special teams player, but he plays about 15-20 plays a game. Has averaged about 12 tackles per year, less than 1 tackle per game. Only 5 forced fumbles and 1 Fumble recovery in 14 years. He has never scored. I believe there is only 1 punter and 1 kicker in the HOF. There are plenty more punters and kickers who have have more impacts on their team winning than Slater who will never be considered for the HOF

  22. Jimmy Johnson, Bill Walsh, and Joe Gibbs couldn’t find a way to block LT. Now Tippett has his explanation.

  23. What about Vinatiari? He won a super bowl for you but doesn’t get a mention because his time ended in a contract dispute. The more he talks, the more disingenuous Belichick sounds.

  24. Slater is great at what he does but even he knows Steve tasker was the first.
    And how can we say a punter belongs in the hall of fame then how can we say skater and raiser don’t

  25. I think it’s pretty cool that his dad played 20 seasons with the Rams, and now Matthew is entering what, 14 or 15 in New England. I think great special teamers deserve HOF consideration. They have to run full speed down field, stop great returners. Maybe Slater stopped prime Hester when a lesser player would not have stopped him and he scores.

  26. ibillwt says:
    April 3, 2022 at 7:13 pm
    Yes bb “had moss a few years” too – when all the experts had said he was past and lost his speed. Bb was widely ridiculed for the trade AND even more so for giving up a 2nd round for welker the same year. He made his own luck.

    41Rate This

    ——————-

    Here we are 15 years later and it’s the same anti-BB rhetoric just moved around and 180 degrees the other way to make sure the jealous mentally deranged haters have something to mock.

    Ironically Moss/Welker for Brady for what Brady wanted, failed.

    Thanks to BB. For everything.

  27. cletuspstillwaterjr says:
    April 3, 2022 at 6:29 pm
    Why LT? Couldn’t he think of a Patriot’s defensive player for the comparison? Andre Tippett wants an explanation.
    ________________________________________

    Andre Tippett? He couldn’t carry LT’s jock strap.

  28. BB is obviously losing it, and it’s time to use the Belichick rule on him; better to get rid of him 2 years early than 1 year late

  29. Fun fact: Brian Hoyer has a better career passer rating against Belichick’s defense than Tommy does. 🤭

    Yes that Brian Hoyer! The guy backing up Mac Jones right now. Lolol

    Stay tuned for another fun fact coming soon!

  30. GiantsOwnBrady says:
    April 3, 2022 at 7:18 pm
    LT is the best player in NFL history…I would put Brady in the top 3-5 though.
    —-
    I wouldn’t. Brady cheated and probably for a while so how good is he really? That’s TBD.

  31. Did BB just compare Brady on offense to LT on defense? Wow. Never thought I’d hear BB give Brady that kind of praise (even if he’s earned it).

  32. Tippett better than LT!??! Cray. LT the best nfl player ever!?! Double cray. Walter Payton. Hands down. Could do it all. Put the hurt on defenders every play…And still to this day people base their training off of his.

  33. I’m a Patriots fan and watch every game. If you focus on Slater he’s right there on every ST play making the tackle or some kind of disruption and even at age 38 I don’t think he’s lost a step. He’s first man there every single time. I’ve never seen a better ST player and I’m including Steve Tasker.

  34. He is a very classy guy and a great special teamer. He deserves his recognition.

  35. The NFL is a game of specialists. Slater deserves the recognition. He’s changed the outcome of a lot of games with his play. If you just go by salaries you can see that special teams isn’t as valued as key offensive or defensive positions, but he still deserves the recognition.

  36. There are (3) certainties in life.

    1. Death
    2. Taxes
    3. Matthew Slater getting to a punted or kicked football before anyone else.

    He’s the Special Teams Coverage GOAT.

  37. 99.9% of fans know next to nothing about ST play. Kick the ball and tackle the guy who returns it is about what fans know. That and a penalty is called about half the time. That being said, most teams have a kamikaze player or two fans love that play primarily ST. Slater has had a longer career than most and I’m sure he’s done his job very well to stick around 15 years in the NFL.

  38. jg2040 says:
    April 3, 2022 at 7:32 pm
    I would put Bruce Smith and Reggie White as better defensive players than LT.

    ————————-

    And you’d be wrong. LT is the greatest defender to ever play the game. Not close.

  39. cletuspstillwaterjr says:
    April 3, 2022 at 6:29 pm
    Why LT? Couldn’t he think of a Patriot’s defensive player for the comparison? Andre Tippett wants an explanation.
    —————————-
    All due respect to Tippett, but Belichick coached LT not Andre. It’s fitting he refers to LT as his former player.

  40. Even slater said tasker deserves to get in before anyone else. And it’s ironic that a pats fan said slater is the best he’s ever seen. He clearly never watched tasker he did it better than anyone else

  41. Emphasis on the special in special teams, where about 80% of the plays result in a penalty!

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