Sportress of Blogitude

Bill Belichick complimented reporter for asking a ‘good question’

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Bill Belichick’s patented icy demeanor when dealing with the media thawed momentarily while fielding questions from reporters following the New England Patriots’ preseason finale Thursday night.

In fact, the typically curmudgeonly coach — although not always (here and here) — actually complimented a reporter for asking a “good question.”

Tom Brady, in arguably surprising fashion, played the entire first half in the Patriots’ final exhibition game against the New York Giants. All told, Brady played on all 38 snaps of the half, going 16-for-26 for 166 yards and a touchdown.

When asked after the game why he would leave a veteran of Brady’s pedigree out on the field for so long in a meaningless game, Belichick had the following to day (via CBS Sports):

Q: How beneficial can it be for Tom (Brady) to get exposure to a lot of different players? What’s part of the benefit of him playing the entire first half?

A: I don’t know. That’s a good question.

Q: When you’re deciding on (Tom) Brady playing the first half, how do you balance yourself with the idea of “we don’t want him to get hurt” and needing him to get the game action, as a coach?

A: Well, you can’t take insurance out on players. If you play football, then you play football. I don’t know how you get better at playing football without playing football. You can stand around and talk about it all day, (but) I don’t really think that makes you a better player. At some point, you’ve got to get out there and play. You tell me.

The notion that Belichick would actually compliment a reporter for asking a good question is mind-blowing to say the least. After all, this is the guy who typically cannot hide his disdain for conducting press conferences (“On to Cincinnati” anyone?).

But given the unique circumstances the Patriots confronted with Tom Brady’s suspension to start the season, it made little sense to trot out Jimmy Garoppolo, who will start in Brady’s stead for the team’s first four games. Brady arguably needed the work, too.

And if Belichick had decided to sit Brady and play backup Jacoby Brissett the entire game? Well, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to hear Belichick actually compliment a reporter.