Bill Belichick famously chanted “No days off!” at the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade last February. As many players learned back in 2009, he doesn’t believe in snow days, either. And the head coach is sticking to his guns again on Thursday, despite the looming “bomb-cyclone” storm.
As most of New England hunkers down and stays off the roads with an intense snowstorm heading in on Thursday, Belichick has other plans. The Patriots plan for business as usual in Foxboro, in spite of the unique storm known as “bombogenesis.” Any storm with the word “bomb” in it can’t possibly be safe.
Still, Belichick expects his team to plan accordingly for the storm and be on time for practice on Thursday. In light of that, you can also expect him to send any late arrivals home. The head coach infamously punished former Pats linebacker Adalius Thomas and several others for arriving late to a team meeting during a Dec. 2009 snowstorm. So it’s safe to say that the Patriots are well aware by now of what Belichick expects of them.
“He Doesn’t Care”
Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater, who was in his second year in the NFL for that 2009 incident, knows Belichick’s policy as well as anyone.
“You certainly better leave yourself enough time to get here on time tomorrow,” Slater told reporters on Wednesday. “We all know there’s weather. Coach has mentioned that several times to the team. I wouldn’t want to be the guy who’s late tomorrow.”
“But look, I don’t think we’re going to have an issue. Guys understand we need to be here. The expectation is what it is. We live in New England. There’s going to be weather. Give yourself some extra time; as simple as that.”
Safety Devin McCourty confirmed that Belichick, indeed, does not want to hear any excuses.
“This day in age, the social media world and the different things [we] have, I think everyone has probably seen it. He’s mentioned it that he doesn’t care,” said McCourty. “Don’t call and say your car got stuck. I think everyone knows there’s two hotels up here at Patriot Place so stay there for the night. Find a way.
“But I tell guys, like wake up earlier, especially if you don’t have a garage or something. Wake up. Go clean your car out. I think guys know. We’re in the NFL playoffs. I think everyone kind of – if you’ve been here for a week or two weeks you kind of get that this guy Bill [Belichick] that talks every day in the morning meeting, he doesn’t play. So not much needs to be said about being here on time and being ready to work.”
No Bomb-Cyclone Days Off
When asked in his Thursday presser about the pride he takes in the team going to work despite the storm, Belichick said: “I don’t know. Every day’s a work day.” On the follow-up question, he just shrugged and nodded.
Although he expects the team to be on time, Belichick apparently drew the line at actually practicing in the bomb-cyclone storm. The Patriots will practice indoors on Thursday, according to multiple reports.
Considering that the snow barely began to fall by sunrise on Thursday, you can expect that the Patriots won’t arrive late to practice.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff.