Skip to main content

Former NFL Coach Almost Fought Bill Belichick In 2008

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the practice field.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 28: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during training camp at Gillette Stadium on August 28, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Dwyer-Pool/Getty Images)

It has been well-documented that there is no love lost between Bill Belichick and his former assistant coach, Eric Mangini.

The two had multiple tense postgame handshakes during Mangini's stints as a head coach with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. But back in 2008, their feud nearly turned physical, according to ESPN writer Seth Wickersham's upcoming book about the Patriots' dynasty.

According to Wickersham, the pair almost came to blows at the 2008 league meetings.

"After a dinner for head coaches, Julie Mangini, wife of Eric, bumped into Belichick and said hi, trying to ease tension after the post-Spygate fallout," ESPN wrote. "Belichick blew her off, and when she told Eric what had happened, he charged across the room and needed to be held back by other coaches from swinging at Belichick. 'Hey Bill, f—k you!' Mangini yelled."

That certainly would have added some spark to the Jets-Patriots rivalry the following season. Keep in mind, this was after Mangini angered Belichick by leaving for New York in the first place, only to further have the relationship soured by the "Spygate" scandal.

All these years later and let's just say these two still don't send each other Christmas cards.