By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick battling intrepid reporters over possible controversies is nothing new, but it’s always worth noting when he has an especially testy day in his live press conferences. New England got some extra salt on its Belichick Tuesday morning, as Belichick approached the podium with his team in quite a unique situation, especially at the quarterback position.
Amid a flurry of questions about Jimmy Garoppolo’s status for Thursday night against the Houston Texans, the overall quarterback situation, and his work with the Patriots medical staff, Belichick was in rare form. He has an innate ability to elevate standard question-dodging into an art form, and he delivered this gem when pressed on the medical staff with what sounded like a deep line of questioning from a single reporter:
“I’m a football coach, not a doctor. The medical staff’s the medical staff. I coach the team, medical people handle the injuries. They don’t call plays. I don’t do surgery. We have a great deal there. Works out good.”
The same reporter STILL tried to get more details on how Belichick and the medical staff work together, to which Belichick replied: “I do what’s best for the football team. … Let me put it a different way: I’m the coach, I do what’s best for the football team. I don’t know why we can’t understand that.”
It’s hard to believe the reporter was actually asking Belichick what he thought when he took a look at Garoppolo’s MRI results. The most cynical ones among the (mostly cynical) New England media may look at Belichick repeatedly saying he does what’s best for the football team with a “Yeah, but do you, really?” But in this case it’s hard to really question Belichick. He’s not the one determining what’s wrong with Garoppolo’s shoulder or any other injury on the team. The extent of his interactions with the Patriots medical staff probably doesn’t go far beyond, “Well can the kid play or not?”
Good thing he only worries about calling plays, because he’s really really good at that part.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.