By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — Invoice Belichick is coming into his 46th straight season as an NFL head coach, and his 21st 12 months on the helm of the New England Patriots franchise. To name him a soccer lifer is to one way or the other understate simply how a lot soccer is a part of the material of his being.
Nonetheless, with the continued uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic in America, one may surprise if the 68-year-old Belichick might need spent a minute or two this spring and summer season to ponder whether or not or not reporting to work in the course of the COVID-19 period may not be the suitable choice.
On Friday morning, Belichick was requested immediately if he did the truth is contemplate opting out of the 2020 season, like eight of his gamers selected to do in current weeks. Belichick didn’t reply the query immediately, however what he did say signifies that opting out was possible by no means within the playing cards.
“I really feel excellent concerning the setting that we’re in,” Belichick answered. “So, I really feel positive.”
As he has in each of his video convention calls with the media in current weeks, Belichick praised the work being executed by the group to take care of an setting inside Gillette Stadium that’s as protected as doable, given the circumstances.
“It’s a superb working setting. We’re getting lots executed,” Belichick mentioned. “The group has taken a number of steps to make sure everybody’s security and alternative to do their job and do it safely and do it productively. Definitely there’s a number of duty on every one in every of us to do issues in a method that don’t have an effect on others negatively, that we take the right precautions that we are able to and may. In order that’s what we’re doing.”
Belichick did say that he and his teaching employees obtained extra expertise with video conferencing than they ever rightfully anticipated, however that they’ve realized on the fly the right way to finest make the most of that device. The coach mentioned that the data gained in that division will possible be utilized in a post-COVID future, too.
“Collectively, I feel issues went higher than I believed they had been going to go, to inform you the reality,” Belichick mentioned of digital conferences with gamers and coaches. “Going ahead, it may be one thing that I most likely by no means even would have thought of a 12 months in the past. Now, after having a reasonably important quantity of expertise with it, I may see the place there may be a spot for it sooner or later. So, that’s form of the place we’re on it.”
Digital conferences, in fact, haven’t been the one adjustment that NFL groups have needed to make throughout this distinctive interval. But Belichick downplayed the affect that the late begin to observe and the dearth of a preseason ought to have on his crew, as soon as once more hammering residence the purpose that that is how faculty groups put together for the season. As for the remainder of actuality working a soccer crew throughout a pandemic, Belichick mentioned that the adjustments have been kind of simple to adapt to.
“You realize, actually, I wouldn’t say any of it has simply been overwhelming. We put on masks. There’s not a buffet line for meals; the meals’s ordered and it’s boxed and packaged. The eating employees has executed a fantastic job. The conferences are in larger rooms — we’re extra unfold out, however primarily it’s the identical assembly. We’re simply distanced and carrying masks. I feel all people’s just a bit extra aware of the hand washing, the sanitizing, the distancing, you already know, we put on displays and all that. It’s only a increased consciousness of it. However basically, we’re nonetheless going over the identical materials in an identical development. We now have walkthroughs, we’ve got conferences, we’ve got coaching and conditioning, we’re going to ultimately have particular person drills once we get to part two, then once we get to part three and have 11-on-11 drills.
“So, I don’t suppose it’s monumental,” Belichick continued. “However actually there are changes — none of that are significantly inhibiting. It’s a little bit bit totally different, possibly a little bit bit extra time consuming and simply extra precautionary, however I feel we’ve tried to handle every little thing.”
Belichick added that the Patriots’ massive facility at Gillette Stadium helps issues go easily, together with minor adjustments, like plastic shields being put in all through the constructing.
“We’re capable of deal with the variety of folks and what we’d usually do — it’s been fairly efficient,” Belichick mentioned. “Once more, we’re not strolling throughout the corridor to a gathering. We’re strolling possibly down the tip of the tunnel to it, however to me, these are comparatively minor. So I’d say total we’re doing issues fairly near the best way we’re usually doing them.”