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Bill Belichick bristles at reporter’s question about Pats’ lack of draft success

Bill Belichick wasn’t about to allow a reporter’s line of questioning during his media availability Friday diminish the New England Patriots’ unparalleled run of success over the past 20 years, and the coach delivered a brilliant comment to do just that.

NBC Sports Boston reporter Tom Curran opened his opportunity to question Belichick to ask about the Patriots’ historic lack of success in the draft, particularly in early rounds, throughout his tenure with the team. Specifically, the inquiry surrounded the Patriots’ ability to develop early-round draft picks.

Suffice to say, Belichick wasn’t having it, and the curmudgeonly head coach — an attitude he often exhibits when growing impatient with the media — used the team’s dynastic run as Exhibit A to shut down such chatter. The dramatic 13-second pause really sets the scene.

“I’d say the most important thing to me is winning games,” Belichick said. “I’m not going to apologize for our record over the last 20 years. I’ve seen a lot worse. So ultimately, we try to put the best team on the field that we can to be competitive, and I don’t really see that changing.

“So whoever those players are or aren’t, that’s the responsibility I feel to the team. The competition plays itself out, and the better players play, whoever they are.”

Belichick obviously makes a great point about how the Patriots have enjoyed a dominant run during which the team won six Super Bowl championships.

However, the case can be made that the Patriots have failed to maximize collecting impact talent in the early rounds of the draft. That said, the team has unquestionably drafted several high-quality players in later rounds and enjoyed success hitting on undrafted players.

The Patriots of course have stumbled in its first season after the Tom Brady Era came to a close, but it’s certainly possible that Belichick knows exactly what he’s doing amid the drop-off in success. Could success in the 2021 NFL Draft help make the supposed Patriots’ downfall only a one-season blip? That remains to be seen.