NEW YORK — After big Patriots losses, much like the one the team endured on Sunday Night Football in a Super Bowl XLIX rematch against the Seahawks, head coach Bill Belichick’s fury can take many forms.
According to former player and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison, Mondays are “miserable” in Foxborough.
“Yelling and screaming and a lot of different things. Sometimes we’d sit in a team meeting room for three and a half hours watching every single play and he’d call out guys — Tom Brady — everyone,” Harrison said Tuesday in Manhattan during the NBC Football Media Luncheon. “The week is miserable, he’s grumpy walking around wearing that hoodie. He ignores you in the hallway …”
Harrison still considers the Patriots “the best team in the league,” but said this week will be a unique sort of frustration for Belichick because he has no one else to blame outside himself and his top lieutenants on the coaching staff.
“I’m like why are they outsmarting themselves?” Harrison, who won two Super Bowls with the Patriots, said Monday. “We talked all week about the game plan. It’s simple. Spread them out, put the tight ends out wide, put the little guys in the middle. You know what they play, they play zone, and just pick them apart.
“I was completely surprised that Josh McDaniels just outsmarted himself. They came out and wanted to run the ball. I’m getting text messages like why are they doing something that they typically don’t do? We saw the same thing with the Carolina Panthers (this week). They’re up 17-0 and start slinging the ball all over the place.”
Brady, who was 23 of 32 for 316 yards and an interception, had his second-fewest number of attempts this season. For comparison, he attempted 50 balls in the Super Bowl win over Seattle back in 2015. LeGarrette Blount gained 3.3 yards per carry against the Seahawks Sunday.
Harrison said he was comfortable sizing up his former boss, who is aware of the criticism (according to Harrison, Belichick claims that the Sunday night pre-game show is the only pre-game show in football that he watches). He said that Belichick once recalled, five years after the fact, that Harrison said he made the worst coaching decision of his career by going for it on fourth down against the Colts back in 2009.
“Bill told me maybe five years later that when you criticized me against Indianapolis, you were spot on,” Harrison said. “And I was surprised. He’s like (Tony) Dungy. He remembers everythingâ¦that guy remembers everything.”