May 11, 2021


Let's Get It!

Why is Bill Belichick so furious about new NFL rule change?

3 min read

For years, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (along with his quarterback Tom Brady) have been masters of the pre-snap ritual.

Both men are also quite adept at taking command of even the tiniest windows, bending the league’s rules in order to steal advantages that no one else even sees.

So, this begs the question: why are both men so up in arms over the NFL’s latest rule change allowing the league’s rigid jersey number restrictions to be relaxed a little bit?

Is there really no way to take advantage of a single-digit-wearing linebacker? Is this going to poke a hole in some grand plan of Belichick’s?

Forgive us for being confused.

Wouldn’t it…be…easier for Belichick to sneak an extra tight end onto the field if players’ numbers were no longer blatantly indicative of their position? If you could clothe a tight end in “No. 24,” wouldn’t that make the ruse easier to pull off?

Does he just…not want other teams getting a crack at it?

Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Belichick was one of very few coaches to spearhead a vote against the league’s latest move:

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Patriots were one of a handful of teams to vote against the rule that dramatically expands the available jersey numbers to linebackers, defensive backs, running backs, receivers, and tight ends. Coach Bill Belichick, per the source, hates the new rule.

What’s really going on here? Why are luminaries like Bill Belichick, who’s the king of taking advantage of every wrinkle in the fabric of the NFL, so up in arms about a rule change that hasn’t been confusing or limiting to college students, let alone professional superstars?

Will this surface-level change really eliminate or affect Belichick’s beloved last-second eligibility changes or offensive trickery? We understand change is hard, but we honestly can’t believe that something so widely used outside the professional game would be that detrimental.

Brady was the first prominent Patriots-adjacent person to go nuclear with hatred for the rule changes, but Belichick was reportedly seething behind closed doors. We just don’t get it.

Maybe it’s a “sanctity of the game” thing where Belichick and Brady don’t want NFL stars playing down to collegiate rules.

Brady’s defenses of his viewpoints were all about how it would suddenly become impossible to block the right person, which…doesn’t feel accurate.

Somebody get to the bottom of this, please. This just can’t be what it looks like.

Patriots: Why is Bill Belichick so furious about new NFL rule change?

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