In Week 4 of the preseason, when most stars are usually resting on the sideline, Tom Brady played the entire first half for the New England Patriots. He was on the field for all 38 offensive snaps against the Giants, eventually working with second and third-team offensive linemen in front of him and without his top weapons as well. It was quite an unusual for sight.
After the game, reporters asked Pats coach Bill Belichick to explain why Brady played so deep into the game, and he answered in exactly the way you’d expect.
Q: How beneficial can it be for Tom (Brady) to get exposure to a lot of different players? What’s part of the benefit of him playing the entire first half?
A: I don’t know. That’s a good question.
Q: When you’re deciding on (Tom) Brady playing the first half, how do you balance yourself with the idea of “we don’t want him to get hurt” and needing him to get the game action, as a coach?
A: Well, you can’t take insurance out on players. If you play football, then you play football. I don’t know how you get better at playing football without playing football. You can stand around and talk about it all day, (but) I don’t really think that makes you a better player. At some point, you’ve got to get out there and play. You tell me.
“I don’t know how you get better at playing football without playing football” is one of the most Belichick quotes imaginable. The natural follow-up would have been to ask why Brady hadn’t played so deep into the game in previous preseason finales but everyone on hand was probably so thrown off by Belichick telling a reporter that they’d asked a good question that they likely all blacked out.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Bill Belichick explained Tom Brady’s long preseason stint in the most Belichick way