Bill Belichick is the master manipulator and motivator. He can take a team that won a dozen or so games for a decade and make them believe that nobody believes in them. Giving a team that underdog, “us against the world” mentality, keeps a team fresh, on edge, and never lets them get complacent, which is the kiss of death in professional sports.
And Belichick never had a student of that line of thinking, better than Rodney Harrison. “Hot Rod” always totally bought in with that line of thinking and motivation, so when he sat down with the Boston Herald and began talking about Belichick’s motivational plan for 2020, it is time to sit up and take notice…he knows what he’s talking about.
“He might bring up a couple of articles … everybody saying it’s over, Brady this, Brady that,” Harrison said in the interview on Tuesday. “Of course he’ll say something about that. But at the end of the day, whether he makes the point or not, he knows the team will be motivated to prove they can win without Tom.”
Tom Brady is now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who released the first pictures of #12 in a Bucs uni), after 20 years of unparalleled success with the Patriots. The two sides couldn’t come to a long-term extension and the Patriots opted to pay the GOAT $13.5 million in dead-money to play elsewhere.
“It’s not just talk, not with the Patriots. It’s a chip you carry in the weight room, you carry in the film room, in the dining room, you carry at home watching extra film, it’s a chip that motivates you,” Harrison said.
Belichick has already lit a fire under Julian Edelman. Edelman is another perfect Belichick soldier who follows the party line to the nth degree. NFL Network’s Mike Giardi posted on Twitter:
“Asked one #Patriot about Julian Edelman’s mindset this season. JE’s been a regular at throwing sessions. ‘Julian is Julian. He hates excuses. He hates to lose. He’s already got the red ass about this season. People thinking we’re no good and (that) he’s just a product of Brady.’”
One doesn’t have to wonder where that case of the “red ass” came from.
Brady’s leaving was manna from heaven for the hot-take artists and sports talk radio hosts. This gives them months of material to titillate the masses with the unending and inane, lame poll questions, “Was the Patriots’ success due to Belichick …or Brady?”
The bottom line is that whoever does well or struggles, the same lame-brains will point and cluck knowingly, “See…. I told ya!”
The Patriots appear to be…for now, going with 2nd year QB Jarrett Stidham from Auburn who made great strides in training camp last summer. The difference between the beginning and the end of training camp was all we really have to judge him on since once the season started, no one saw how well (or badly) he practiced. He played just a few snaps against the Jets early in the season.
But the Patriots are saying all the right things about Stidham thus far in the offseason. But it is one thing being a backup and it is quite another being the initial replacement for the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. He has his work cut out for him. But he’ll have Belichick, giving him every advantage he can. Now he just has to go out and show he can handle the job.
“It’s motivating for people to say you can’t win without Brady,” Harrison added. “I know I would be pissed. … So these guys are going to be motivated, pumped up, and ready to go.”
Belichick will have the team all-bought in by the time the players hit the field for the first time, it will be a familiar mantra throughout the 2020 season. “Nobody believes in us.”
Let the games begin.
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Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: Bill Belichick Jarrett Stidham Julian Edelman Mike Giardi New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots' success Rodney Harrison Tom Brady