Bill Belichick was asked about mental health after Antonio Brown’s exit

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Belichick was also asked about his side joke with Mac Jones.

Bill Belichick during the Patriots’ win over the Jaguars on January 2. AP Photo/Paul Connors

The Patriots got 2022 off to a strong start with a lopsided 50-10 win over the Jaguars on Sunday. A day later, Patriots coach Bill Belichick shared his thoughts during a Monday morning interview on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”

Asked initially how he’s been spending the recent vacation period, Belichick unsurprisingly kept it simple.

“Holidays have been busy but everything is fine,” he explained, “good to play well yesterday, good to get back on track, ready for 2022.”

As to whether or not he was a party to Mac Jones’ holiday giveaway to his offensive line (cryptocurrency), Belichick had a simple answer.

“Yeah, I don’t even know what cryptocurrency is.”

Here are some other topics that were covered in the interview:

A “great response” to recent struggles

After back-to-back losses, the Patriots delivered a resounding response against Jacksonville on Sunday.

Although the Jaguars were a team in disarray, the Patriots’ ability to execute was a fact that got the players excited afterward. Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers called the build-up to the game a “look in the mirror” moment.

“It was our best week in a short time here,” confirmed Belichick. “I don’t really know why it was, but maybe that was part of it, what Jakobi said, we got to the point where we kind of had to deal with the music here.

“I think our captains and some of our veteran leaders on our team have done a really good job this week leading by example and challenging themselves, challenging the team,” Belichick added. “We got a great response yesterday, so try to keep going.”

Antonio Brown and mental health

Former Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown, who helped Tom Brady and the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl last season, walked off the field in the team’s final win over the Jets on Sunday.

Brown’s public departure from the team again raised the issue of mental health in the NFL.

This was a question posed to Belichick during the interview.

“Yeah, it’s important to all of us,” Belichick said of the focus on mental health. “We have a number of people who are involved in this area in one way or another, certainly our medical staff, but there is an awareness of other people in the organization, coaches and d other staff, etc.

“Each of us is different, each of us is unique and we try to have a team structure and we have to work with the guys individually as things come up,” he continued. “We had players last year, a situation where – look, there are several situations, but where things come up where we can be useful, we try to do that.”

As for the specific Brown incident, Belichick refrained from direct comment.

“I didn’t really see what happened yesterday. It’s not about that,” Belichick explained, “it’s just generally that’s how we try to deal with the mental health side of it.”

“It’s very important,” Belichick said. “It’s something that everyone is very aware of. We talk about it quite regularly, and footballers are badass. They like to block out and try to block out distractions and things that might affect them on the football field. But at the same time, you have to live your life and take care of other things. So he tries to find that balance.

The side joke with Mac Jones

With the Patriots at the end of the fourth quarter, even Belichick relaxed on the sidelines for a moment, enjoying a bit of humor with Jones and other members of the New England offense.

When asked what he was joking about, Belichick didn’t divulge details.

“Well, it’s rare to have that kind of a lead,” Belichick said, calling it “just a lighter moment.”

“Just happy for the team, happy with the way our players responded to the challenge. A disappointing couple of weeks there, but it’s good to know we’re going to play in the playoffs and now it’s time for us to prepare and play our best football, so that’s what we’re all going to try to do.

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