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Sunday, February 22, 2009
Belichick gets downright chatty


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- We just experienced something extraordinary.

 Belichick

Bill Belichick spoke Sunday morning, but that's not the strange part -- even though the usually reticent New England Patriots coach wasn't scheduled to step up to the podium in the NFL scouting combine media room at Lucas Oil Stadium.

He practically filibustered.

Belichick's opening statement went on and on for 12 minutes.

He was self-effacing. He discussed the comings and goings within the football operation. He lauded some of his former co-workers who have moved on to great things. He talked about the new combine venue and interviewing the prospects. He even smiled a couple times.

But Belichick's most interesting comments conveyed his disappointment that fixtures such as Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden and Brian Billick are unemployed coaches. While Belichick wasn't scathing in his soliloquy, it was obvious he thought firing them was foolish.

The names Tom Brady and Matt Cassel never were uttered. Neither was Eric Mangini, for that matter. Belichick warned us not to ask about injuries or contract situations.

I'm sitting down to transcribe the tape now. I'll be sharing Belichick's thoughts throughout the afternoon.