Belichick opposed to a former protege
20 h 20 | RDS. RDS.ca
Kevin O’Connell played in his first career NFL regular season game by coming on as a relief in a rare one-sided loss to the New England Patriots.
The Patriots then had a bye week, and of course head coach Bill Belichick prepared them to bounce back the following week. Even after learning that Tom Brady would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury in the season opener, the Patriots finished the 2008 season with a stellar 11-5 record.
The response to the thaw in the third week of activity was strategic, not emotional. The message was to ask players to control what they could control, and forget about everything else.
“It’s a message I still repeat to myself, and it’s just one example of what it’s like to lead a team through adversity, and what it takes to be your best for your team. said O’Connell.
The Minnesota Vikings rookie head coach found himself in that situation this week, following a 40-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings (8-2) host the Patriots (6-4), who are still led by Belichick, on Thursday night after just four days to recover. O’Connell will now face one of the biggest challenges of his career against the coach who has influenced him throughout his professional journey.
“I still have old notebooks with old team notes and things like that that still help me today,” O’Connell said.
The first thing Belichick said when asked about his memories of O’Connell? He was “a brilliant boy”, who quickly seized the system on offense.
“He did a good job and quickly rose through the ranks in football,” continued Belichick. If I trust the way the Vikings are playing this season, we understand better why. »