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Rob Ninkovich, Michael Lombardi on OMF explain what it's like to be called out by Bill Belichick

Greg Levinsky
December 01, 2017 - 1:54 pm

Although Bill Belichick doesn't say much, when he's mad, he's mad. 

Former Patriots defensive end/linebacker Rob Ninkovich and former Patriots executive Michael Lombardi each joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Friday and talked about some heated moments with Belichick. To listen to the full interviews, visit OMF's audio on demand page. 

Ninkovich played eight years in New England and talked about getting scolded by Belichick after a training camp media session.

"They select a couple captains to go and talk to the media before training camp starts," Ninkovich said. "I thought everything was cool and that I hadn't said anything wrong. But, one of the reporters asked me, 'What was your biggest issue last year?' and I said, 'Third and long screens,' because teams had converted on like eight 3rd and 20s on long screens."

Belichick approached Ninkovich the next morning at breakfast.

"He came up to me and was like, 'Why don't you just tell everybody what our biggest issue is? If that's an issue, why say it? Let them try it and if we can't stop them that's our problem.'"

"I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but he called me out in front of the entire team," Ninkovich said. 

Ninkovich said Belichick goes after anyone, including Tom Brady.

"You don't talk, you just take it even if you're the wrong guy," he said. 

Lombardi said Belichick corrected him often, but that he did not take it personally.

"I never took it as a scolding. I took it as a learning experience," Lombardi said. "There was always a give and take between he and I that was mutually respected. Bill never talks down to you. Bill treats you like a man and has a conversation with you."

"Usually when you walk out of the room you can say to yourself, 'Yeah I got that,'" Lombardi added.



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