BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick reminded everyone in his Friday press conference that he’s only a football coach.
In light of the news that Aaron Hernandez’s family is suing the NFL and the Patriots after the former tight end was discovered to have severe CTE, Belichick was asked about what the Pats do to protect players against the degenerative brain disease. Like a pre-game coin toss, Belichick deferred … to the Patriots’ medical staffers.
“We cover a lot of things on the medical end,” said Belichick. “Not just one specific thing. We cover a lot.”
When asked a follow-up question about how he feels the NFL handles informing players about head injuries, Belichick again deflected.
“I’m not a doctor. I’m not a trainer. I’m a coach,” said Belichick. “The medical department, they handle the medical part of it. I don’t do that.”
Concussions and CTE have taken on added meaning for the Patriots in 2017. Tom Brady’s wife Gisele Bundchen revealed in an interview that the quarterback suffered a concussion in 2016 and implied that he has suffered multiple head injuries over the course of his career, despite never being listed with one on the team’s injury reports. Belichick also sidestepped those questions back in June.
Belichick can’t be expected to deliver any real, deep insight on the medical ins and outs of head injuries. But it’s clear that, in his numerous responses on the matter, the coach would rather sidestep the topic entirely.