The Patriots have concerns about how the NFL is treating their positive COVID-19 tests -- and now it seems they're comfortable doing something about it, writes Tom E. Curran.
eople who have spent the past 20 years wondering where Bill Belichick’s heart is should be led directly to how he’s operated this week.
Even while being his usual evasive self, the words he’s chosen to say tell you all you need to know.
“What’s best for our football team is the health and safety of our team,” Belichick said on Saturday. “That’s our No. 1 priority. So, without that, we don’t have a team. We have to maintain the integrity of not only our football team, but also the extended team – our families and the loved ones for every member of our team. That’s got to come first. …
"We can’t compromise the health, safety and well-being of our football team, including our staff,” he continued. “I don’t think that’s the answer, I don’t think that’s the way to go in the long term, and I think that’s going to be much more detrimental than a short-term adjustment that we have to make in order to maximize everyone’s health and safety. That’s our approach, that’s the way I look at it, and I know that’s the way Mr. [Robert] Kraft looks at it, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do. We’ll put the team first and that’s our philosophy."
The powers that be – the NFL and NFLPA – put themselves in this position.
On Wednesday, team sources indicated to me waning trust in the league after the Patriots flew to Kansas City then had a request for more space in the Chiefs locker room rebuffed.
The Patriots – not the NFL – were the ones who decided to keep their facility closed on Friday. The Patriots were the ones who took two planes to Kansas City. The Patriots were the ones who had coaches and players voluntarily staying in hotels this week to sequester themselves away from their families.
“I don’t want to sound like we’re victims or anything, but we’re going through the same exact thing that you guys are going through and everybody in our nation right now,” said McCourty. “The coronavirus has stopped us all and we all have had to figure it out. That is what we’re doing here. No different than my kids figuring out how they are going to go to school this year or anybody else throughout our country.
“I think (Belichick) felt like just through different doctors and medical experts who have been studying and getting to know this virus that it was in our best interest not be around each other because it was just a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unknown,” he continued.
“As a captain, as a player on this team, you appreciate that you are not put in a bind and you don’t have to choose between am I putting myself in danger or whatever the case my be. It makes you proud that we have done everything we possibly can as we have reentered the building and we reenter whatever you call our norm for this year.