Bill Belichick is entering his 23rd season as head coach of the New England Patriots, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Matthew Slater has been a special teams stalwart under Belichick since 2008, so he knows a lot about the 70-year-old leader
Enough to have one specific quality that he admires about Belichick: his consistency and overall approach, which Slater discussed at training camp today.
“I’ve had the great fortune of being around Coach for a long time now,” Slater said, via NESN.com. “And what I see in him is just a passion to pursue excellence in an area that he loves — without question, he loves this game. He loves the history of this game. He loves everything that goes into this game, and he has a great deal of respect for it. And, I think, when you love something, you stay motivated to pursue it, to pour into it, to continue to evolve, to continue to approach with a great sense of gratitude and urgency. I think it’s his love for the game that compels him. Obviously, he’s a competitor at heart. He wants to continue to go out and coach good football teams — smart, tough, physical football teams.
“And what a blessing for him, at age 70 to be able to be healthy enough to do it, both physically, mentally and emotionally. And then, just to have the opportunity. I’m sure if you ask him, he’d tell you he’s grateful for that because there are not many people that are able to do it for the amount of time that he’s done it. I definitely have learned a lot from just watching you. You talk about commitment to a craft and avoiding complacency, I think he embodies that better than anyone I’ve been around as a professional. His tireless pursuit of excellence is really inspiring in a lot of ways.”
Like we said, Belichick hasn't given any indication he's thinking about leaving anytime soon either.
After posting his first losing season in two decades in 2020, he guided the Patriots back into the playoffs last fall.
What New England does in 2022 will likely be determined by how potent the offense can be under second-year quarterback Mac Jones.