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BOSTON (CBS) — There is never a good time to ask Bill Belichick about matters that don’t pertain directly to his football team, but minutes after a game is a particularly perilous time for a reporter to start asking questions which the coach does not want to hear.
That much was clear on Thursday night, after the Patriots beat the Giants 28-20 in their preseason finale at Gillette Stadium. Belichick stepped to the podium to address the media after the game, and following his opening remarks, he was asked about the Rolling Stone article about Aaron Hernandez.
“I don’t have anything to add,” Belichick said, before he was pressed for more. “I don’t have anything to add. Don’t have anything to add. Next question.”
Belichick answered several questions about the football team before the Rolling Stone article was mentioned again by a reporter.
“I told you I don’t have any comment about that,” Belichick said, seemingly ready to walk away from the press conference if the questions continued.
Instead, football questions followed, and Belichick spoke for several more minutes before ending his session with the media.
In the article, the authors said that Hernandez flew to Indianapolis to meet Belichick during the scouting combine. There, Hernandez “confided to Belichick that his life was in danger.”
“Belichick, per a close Hernandez associate, had told him to lay low, rent a safe house for a while,” the story said.
The story also said that when Belichick learned that Hernandez had missed team workouts, the coach “exploded and tendered notice: Any more disruptions and he’d be traded or cut at the end of the 2013 season.”
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft spoke on 98.5 The Sports Hub prior to the game and disputed those two claims.
“I think I would’ve known if that had ever happened, but I saw Bill today, and I said, ‘Bill, did Aaron ever tell you his life was in danger?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely not,’” Kraft said. “If a player had told Bill that his life was in danger, Bill would say, ‘We’re calling Mark Briggs, and we’re calling the authorities.’ His response wouldn’t be, ‘We’re going to get a safe house, and you’re going to go lie low.’ I know Bill. It’s not what he would say.”