the greg hill show: Bill belichick talks benching of demario douglas
Second to “do your job”, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s mantra over the course of 20 years has been that he will always do what’s best for the football team. On Sunday night, however, it could be questioned if that was truly the case.
After a first quarter fumble on a would-be third down conversion, the team decided to bench wide receiver Demario Douglas. After six snaps through two drives, the rookie pass catcher failed to take another offensive snap during the club’s 24-17 loss to the Dolphins.
On one hand, you could argue that a new player in just his second NFL game should be punished and have to learn from his mistakes after a back-breaking drive killer. However Douglas has been New England’s most explosive player offensively through two games and now falling to 0-2, this team doesn’t have much margin for error.
A decision he chalked up to “play[ing] all of our skill players” after the team “had a lot of production on offense,” Belichick remained mum on his decision to not put Douglas back into the game on offense during his Monday morning hit with WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show:
“We talk about ball security all the time,” Belichick said when asked about balancing punishment with trying to win the game at hand. “There isn't a day that goes by that we don't talk about it and the days that we’re on the practice field we always work on it and them talk about it as things come up during the practice. Both sides of the ball. Taking the ball away and taking care of the ball. Those are constant for everybody. Everybody that touches the ball, it's important to have ball security. We spend a lot of time and effort on it. We've got to do a better job."
When prodded about the idea that Douglas was, in fact, benched for said ball security issues, Belichick seemed to duck the question again:
"He was in the game as a punt returner…”
“On offense,” The Greg Hill Show’s Chris Curtis interjected.
“We have other skill players on offense too,” Belichick said. “There's nothing more important than ball security."
That answers that, I guess. But for the sake of the team’s 0-2 start, let’s hope that Douglas gets a chance to rebound at The Meadowlands next Sunday.
Belichick also spoke about Mike Gesicki’s awareness on fourth down, how the team can improve heading into Jets week, and more on Monday’s edition of The Greg Hill Show. You can listen to the full interview here.