New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is usually quiet during his daily press conferences. That wasn't the case this Thursday afternoon.
ESPN's Mike Reiss pretty much baited Belichick by asking about New York Giants legend Lawrence Taylor. For those who don't know, Belichick had the chance to coach Taylor for several years.
The first question that Belichick faced this afternoon dealt with Taylor's rookie year. Belichick revealed how Taylor was able to make an impact so early in his NFL career.
"His dominance," Belichick said, via NESN. "The greatness of Lawrence Taylor. He’s bigger, stronger, faster, more explosive. Even though he didn’t really know what he was doing, instinctively as a football player, he’s at the very top of the list.”
Belichick was then asked if there's anything he remembers about Taylor's first NFL season. That led to a lengthy response from the six-time Super Bowl champion.
“First practice. He played on all four phases in the kicking game, so he was hard to block on punt protection, as you can imagine. We didn’t use him too much there. He was the gunner on the punt team. He was impossible to block. He played in the middle on kickoff return and he had some of the biggest hits I’ve ever seen. He played safety on kickoff coverage and you were never really concerned that they were going to get it too far, past the 30 or whatever. So, he dominated from the first day of practice. Playoff game against Philadelphia, he really was the difference in that game, just on covering punts. Then of course, once we started doing that with Taylor, then the Redskins did it with Monte Coleman, Dexter Manley, well Dexter Manley first and then eventually Coleman.
"Anyway, just other teams started doing it and so then it was kind of almost wish we hadn’t done it. But there’s nobody that really I could put in his category that I’ve coached. There may be others that I haven’t coached, but I mean, he’s head and shoulders above whoever the next player is. And I’ve been fortunate to coach a lot of great, great defensive players, but when you talk about Lawrence Taylor, now that’s a whole different conversation. I mean, honestly, he could have played any position on defense except corner. He probably could have played corner, too, but safety, linebacker, inside, outside, defensive end, defensive tackle. He played nose guard at North Carolina, so put him wherever you want.”
Belichick then finished this long response by telling reporters that he "loves talking about Lawrence."
At the end of the day, Belichick appreciates great football players, and Taylor is one of the best to every play the game.