Although it’s been more than three years since he qualified for the Buffalo Bills, LeSean McCoy still harbors some bad feelings about Bill Belichick.
The former Bills running back spoke about Belichick during a recent appearance on the I AM ATHLETE podcast, addressing some of the dirtier allegations about the New England Patriots coach’s prep style and his allegedly lax adherence to the league’s surveillance rules.
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During the podcast, former Denver Broncos linebacker DJ Williams opened up about the oddly accurate game plans concocted by Broncos head coach and Belichick student Josh McDaniels. As Williams noted, McDaniels was better prepared for games than any other coach he had seen, with very specific “keys to victory” that included an in-depth knowledge of opponent tendencies and game calls.
Williams recalled a year the Broncos started 6-0, but after losing to the San Francisco 49ers, the team ran into trouble for illegally filming 49ers practice, and McDaniels was fired shortly thereafter. McCoy believes McDaniels learned of Belichick’s rule-breaking when the Belichick-led Patriots were fined for illegally videotaping the New York Jets’ coaching signals in a scandal that became known as “Spygate.”
“That’s the Belichick way,” McCoy said.
As USA Today Sports’ For the Win noted, Williams had an incomplete memory of the McDaniels scandal. While McDaniels led the Broncos to a 6-0 start into the 2009 season only to finish the year 2-8 and miss the playoffs, it was the next season that the team disciplined for filming the 49ers’ practice would. The Broncos were 2-6 to the 49ers after that loss when McDaniels was fired.
But the report also pointed to the more obvious connection between the 49ers scandal and Spygate.
“In 2010, McDaniels and the Broncos were each fined $50,000 after a team employee, Steve Scarnecchia, was caught filming a San Francisco 49ers practice session in London,” the report said. “Scarnecchia was also involved in the Patriots’ Spygate scandal, so yeah, the guy’s track record wasn’t great.”
McCoy had an opportunity to take his anger with Belichick straight to the top when he said later in the episode that he bumped into Patriots owner Robert Kraft at a party a few years ago. McCoy said he instead took the opportunity to ask Kraft why they let Tom Brady go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“‘I love Tommy,'” McCoy recalled of Kraft’s response. “‘I’m mad that he left. I said Bill [Belichick], dammit, you let Tom win a championship. It’s time for you to win one.’”
Brady’s departure was a boon for McCoy, who joined the Buccaneers in 2020 and won a Super Bowl with the former Patriots quarterback at the helm. McCoy gave high praise to his former rival-turned-teammate and said he’s never seen another player make such a positive impact on a team as he did with Brady.
“He’s the only player I know where I don’t care who’s playing that game. We have ’12’,” he said. “He makes everyone believe – he’s such a good guy, he encourages the caretaker. He makes the caretaker feel better.”
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