Belichick is in Rare Form as He Confirms Brian Hoyer is Set to Start and Mac Jones Seeks a Second Opinion

I've said it a million times before and it's never been truer than it is right now. For all of the skills of the true polymath that is Bill Belichick, none is as ingenious as his ability to manage a crisis. To take all the air out of the sorts of controversies that would destroy a lesser man. That phrase was not intended as a Deflategate joke, but that's a perfectly apt reference since that was perhaps his finest work. He gave the legendary Mona Lisa Vito press conference and never let it serve as a distraction, even as his team was getting railroaded and his franchise quarterback suspended over a Royale Nothingburger with Cheese. 

And so with his current franchise quarterback suffering "a pretty severe" high ankle sprain, Belichick summoned those skills and put them to excellent use today. Even as Mac Jones has decided to seek a second opinion and try to avoid surgery:

A dynamic like this, where a player is going around consulting with doctors not on the team's medical staff, can be a bad omen. A signal of a major lack of confidence between the athlete and the organization. Hell, it happened on this team. The Gronkowski family was clearly cheesed off about Gronk's back surgery and subsequent re-surgeries. And that ended up being the first skirmish in what led to the all-out Pliability War that ultimately sent him and Tom Brady to Tampa Bay. 

So it's only natural that "Jones Seeks a Second Opinion" will be seen as something sinister. A narrative the New England media will use to bludgeon the head coach and prove they were right all along when they said Mr. Kraft should've hired Chan Gailey in 2000 instead. 

It's also only natural to assume he'd take the podium today in a mood most foul. Looking like he's ready to kill everyone in the press room with lasers from his eyes, Homelander-style. But if you've been studying this man closely these past few decades, you'd know it's even more natural that he would do the exact opposite. I mean, look at the way he's carrying himself at a time like this:


Does he look worried to you?

Charming. Chipper. Upbeat. Cracking wise with the press. Almost going full Shecky Belichick, playing the "Day. By. Day" card, but playing it as a running gag. When asked more specifics about Jones' situation, he said "he's made a lot of progress in the last 48 hours," then slyly threw in a "he probably won't practice today" one-liner. It was masterful.

That is how you do leadership. That is how you handle a crisis. You project an air of confidence. Expressed with humor and a sense of calm that filters down to your followers and puts everyone at ease. Even if you're feeling entirely the opposite in those quiet moments alone when you're at your desk and the weight of the world is on your shoulders, you smile and show everyone it's going to be alright. Then the perception becomes the reality. 

Does this mean I think Jones will be back right away? I'm not an orthopedic surgeon. Do I think they can beat the Packers in Green Bay behind Brian Hoyer? I'm not Bill Belichick. I just wish I was. And I know you'd have to be an idiot to go against him when he's seeming this confident. This is, after all, the coach who went 11-4 with Matt Cassel as a starter. Damn, how I appreciate having him in charge at moments like this.