To get you up to speed on who this seemingly photoshopped jugheaded man in the ill-fitting suit is, he's current Houston Texans VP who, in the organization's words, "manages all football operations and directs the overall culture of the organization." The most pretentiously inflated job description since Microsoft named someone who worked on Cloud all day the Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence. Before he went to the Texans and started firing the people who hired him, including Bill O'Brien and then axed the team's PR director for not fitting into that "culture" he directs, pissing everyone off, Easterby was the Patriots team chaplain.
More significantly, he was known throughout the organization as the "multiple sources" every time someone published a scathing article that made the team look bad without anyone going on the record. When he left for Houston in the Spring of 2019, he put it out there anonymously that he was leaving in disgust because the man who signed his paychecks went to an Asian Day Spa. When the truth was he lusted for power. Power he was never going to get in New England as long as Bill Belichick had anything to say about it. Which he, of course, did. And still does. And once he got to Houston, his first order of business was to tamper with Patriots VP of player personnel Nick Caserio. Belichick also had something to say about that, and it wasn't from the Scripture. Unless there's a part in Exodus that begins "Thou Shalt Not Steal" and says "And Thou Can Go Shit in Thy Hat" in a footnote. Because Belichick kept Caserio and even extended his contract this year.
So I was hoping there'd be plenty of lingering resentment. The kind of good, old fashioned, non-denominational, irreligious hatred that we haven't seen around here since Belichick was taking out his vengeance on Eric Mangini or Tony Dungy or Freddie Mitchell. A good, Old Testament style vendetta. A grudge. A score to be settled in blood.
I should be so lucky. From his press availability today:
Q: What are your recollections of Jack Easterby in his time with your organization?
BB: Yeah, Jack was here for six years and he was really good for our football team, for the organization. He did everything I asked him to do and he had a good interaction, relationship with everybody in our building, from the support people, to the players, to the coaching staff and so forth. I learned a lot from Jack. I think we learned a lot from each other and we went through a lot together. So, he had a good, positive impact on our football team and on the organization.
He was only slightly less passive and marginally more aggressive during his WEEI appearance yesterday:
"Jack's not a personnel person, no," he said.
It's been written on several occasions that Easterby was a "key executive" with the Patriots and that simply is not true.
"Jack did a great job for us,” Belichick said. “His role was a varied one. He worked with a lot of different aspects of the organization: players, coaches, support people, so forth.
"He was a person who could connect well with everybody, from the owner of the team to the equipment manager that picks up towels, and all of the people in between. So, he was a very valuable person for this organization in the time he was here.”
That is not the vitriol I think any of us are looking for. This Easterby clown took a degree in Theology, parlayed it into a dream job working for the best franchise in all of sports and through very un-Christ-like means, managed to bite the hand that fed him in numerous ways. While getting fawning articles written about what a special, saintly figure he is. And now that the schedule has put him right in Belichick's crosshairs, Coach Satan decides to reach out in a Christian spirit of faith, hope and charity and say nice things.
My best hope is that this is just saying nice things in that ironic way, where the subtext is really meant to be menacing. Like the serial killer in every movie, just trying to keep the hitchhiker or the store keeper relaxed before the hatchet swings. I don't know if Belichick needs an enemy as much as I need Belichick to have an enemy. But this Jack Easterby is the closest we have right now. Here's hoping this is one of those "run up the score" kind of situations because we all need that even more. It's been too long.