New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick admits he was wrong in coaching his players into a critical penalty against his team that led to an overtime loss to the New York Jets on Sunday.
The hoodie-wearing, Super Bowl-winning coach of few words argued after Sunday’s game that the officials blew the call in flagging defensive tackle Chris Jones for pushing a teammate into the offensive formation as Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal in overtime. The Patriots were assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, the Jets got a first down, and Folk didn’t blow a second chance at a game-winning kick four plays later.
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Jones initially took the blame, saying he blew the game for the Patriots. “It was my mistake, nobody else’s,” he said.
Belichick disagreed Monday, according to an NFL.com report, saying that the buck stops with him.
He told reporters that he misunderstood the rule and had coached his players to make that play.
NFL.com noted that the Patriots had used the same tactic the week before against the Saints. No penalty was called.
“Obviously we are wrong,” Belichick said. “It’s our job to understand the rules.”
The admission from the staid coach had some picking up their jaws.
But Mike Reiss, writing for ESPN Boston, said a key point is being overlooked
in the debate. “This discussion should not take away from the fact that the Jets made the critical plays to win the game. They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides.”
In typical Belichick style, though, the New England coach wouldn’t let the matter drop on Tuesday, saying the Jets were guilty of the same transgression earlier in the game but weren’t called for a penalty.
Wrote ESPN New York writer Rich Cimini: “It was a classic Belichick response:
He wanted to turn the page, but he managed to include a snarky and incriminating comment about the Jets.”
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