Patriots players recall exact times Bill Belichick told them ‘good job’

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the first quarter against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium.
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

By Sam Galanis

“Do your job” is Bill Belichick’s mantra, but apparently, it’s rare to hear the words “good job” come out of the New England Patriots head coach’s mouth.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal’s Kevin Clark found Patriots players hear praise from Belichick so rarely that they can remember the exact moment their coach told them they were doing a good job.

“Jacksonville, 2009,” defensive end Rob Ninkovich told Clark. “I made a play, the next day he said ‘that’s a good job.’ It was a great feeling.”

The reaction was the same for others, including special teams captain Matthew Slater.

“Last year against Oakland,” Slater said. “He said ‘Good job, Slate.’ You’re surprised by it. But he’s not going to be drooling over you.”

However, players aren’t bothered by Belichick’s stony demeanor. As safety Tavon Wilson put it, just being on the roster is praise enough from the four-time Super Bowl champion coach.

“If you’re here you are doing something right,” Wilson said. “That’s all the ‘good job’ you need.”

Either way, the Patriots aren’t necessarily setting out to earn Belichick’s approval. It’s actually the exact opposite.

“You know he’ll tell you if you are not doing a good job, and that’s what everyone is trying to avoid,” free safety Devin McCourty told Clark. “I think that’s kind of how the team works.”

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