By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — No NFL head coach has stayed one step ahead of the rulebook like Bill Belichick. Whether it’s the way he coaches his defensive backs to play against receivers or his use of unorthodox formations and ineligible receivers, the league has often changed its rules to limit or close loopholes that Belichick had been exploiting with success.
Belichick sneakily let his feelings be known on the NFL’s rule changes, especially those resulting from wins over the Colts, when he joined the NFL Network from the Combine in Indianapolis on Sunday. Speaking to former Patriots linebacker, now-analyst Willie McGinest, Belichick recalled some of his favorite memories with McGinest and the Patriots from when they played in Indianapolis.
You can watch the full clip of Belichick’s appearance at the NFL Twitter account. It’s a must-see, if only to get a sense of how quickly Belichick snuck in a nice dig at the Colts and the NFL over their rule changes.
“You know, Willie, one of my best memories is right here [in Indianapolis] when you made the short-yardage stop against the Colts [in 2003],” said Belichick. “And then the next year we opened with them, and you made the sack that took [kicker Mike] Vanderjagt out of field-goal range. I think that’s where [linebacker Mike] Vrabel got them on the fake timeout too and then they changed the rule on that – but anyway, you got the Colts back-to-back two years in a row, here and in Foxborough.”
Reminding viewers that he’s also willing to poke fun at himself, Belichick also cracked a “Fourth-and-2” joke about how Colts fans greet him nowadays – even though he still insists the infamous 2009 play-call was just one yard.
“Trust me, Willie, when I came to Indianapolis, they threw stuff at me, yelled at me and everything else. Then when I went for it on fourth-and-1 and we got stopped, ever since then it’s been ‘Hey Coach, good to see you, how’s it going?'” said Belichick.
Perhaps the Colts will now look into the rules on head coaches talking with the NFL Network. Can’t have Mr. “VII Rings” burying you any further underground than he already has.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed 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.