By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (CBS) — If you run into Bill Belichick during Super Bowl week, you never quite know what you’re going to get.
At the made-for-TV madness of media day, the at-times-dour head coach plays along with the silliness and shines his pearly whites for the cameras. After winning the Super Bowl, you might catch him regretting the fact that his team is five weeks behind every other NFL team in preparing for the next season. And in the days between, he can go from joking to deadly serious from question to question.
On Wednesday, when Belichick met the media in the Patriots team hotel after their first practice in Minnesota, the Hall of Fame head coach used his time at the podium to roast himself a little bit.
“[Making a trade in the NFL] is about being able to work something out with another organization for the right price both organizations feel good about, and some of those have worked out maybe a little better for one side or the other,” Belichick said when asked about his relationship with Mike Brown, the owner/de facto general manager of the Cincinnati Bengals. “Certainly, Mike got the best of the Chad Johnson trade. Still waiting for payback on that one. I think that’s coming.”
Belichick was referencing the 2011 trade between the Bengals and Patriots which sent the enigmatic Chad Ochocinco to New England in exchange for a fifth-round pick and a sixth-round pick.
Ochocinco — formerly known as Chad Johnson, and then later again known as Chad Johnson — caught just 16 passes for 297 yards and one touchdown for the Patriots in 17 games. He never played in the NFL again after he and the Patriots lost in Super Bowl XLVI.
And the Bengals hit a home run with one of those draft picks acquired from the Patriots when they selected Marvin Jones with the 166th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Over the course of three years, Jones caught 134 passes for 1,729 yards and 15 touchdowns. He signed a big-money free-agent deal with the Lions in 2016, and he’s since caught 116 more passes for 2,031 yards and nine touchdowns.
Belichick offered up the self-roast unprompted, and he said it with a smile. But behind every Belichick joke about one of his swings-and-misses, there is plenty of real-life anguish the coach has probably put himself through. He was kind enough to share that with the world on this day.