Bill Belichick thinks furor over Matthew Slater reaction in OT is 'much ado about nothing'

Mike Petraglia
December 28, 2015 - 8:33 am

[caption id="attachment_103603" align="alignright" width="400"]The Jets were surprised Bill Belichick elected to kick off to open overtime. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) The Jets were surprised Bill Belichick elected to kick off to open overtime. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)[/caption] There were countless memes all over the internet almost instantly after Matthew Slater reacted to referee Clete Blakeman's announcement in overtime that the Jets would choose which goal they would defend. Many of those memes had Steve Harvey's face photoshopped over Slater's, a reference to Harvey's recent gaffe at the Miss Universe Pageant when he announced the wrong winner. Slater, as a visiting player, called heads and the coin came up heads. "We want to kick off," Slater said. Then, TV cameras on the field - with microphones still open for the overtime coin toss - caught Slater asking "We won, don't we get to choose?" The immediate internet reaction was to think Slater was getting hoodwinked out of choosing to receive. That wasn't the case at all, as Bill Belichick confirmed Monday during his conference call that he had already informed Blakeman that if the Patriots won the toss (which they did), they would elect to kick off to start overtime. Slater was just out on the field to call the coin toss and execute the pre-determined orders. Before Slater went to the center circle with Rob Ninkovich and Jerod Mayo, there was extensive discussion on the sidelines, as Belichick also confirmed Monday. "The discussion was that we wanted to kick off, number one," Belichick said. "But number two, if we didn't win the toss, we had the preferred direction. Honestly, it didn't really make any difference. There was almost no wind in the game so that wasn't a big consideration. What I didn't want to do was defend the goal and then have them choose to kick off so we chose to kick off and again, I don't know exactly what happened out there at midfield but we obviously didn't have the choice of goals, they did. "But we talked about that on the sideline because that could've been our choice had the coin toss gone differently. So, yeah, we did talk about that. But in the end, the direction of the goals, I don't think there really any wind advantage. If there was, it was very minimal and not really worth taking a goal over [kicking off]." What Belichick was trying to avoid by predetermining the decision in overtime was the exact confusion that presented itself on television. And even Blakeman conferred with Belichick AFTER the flip to make sure everything was as Belichick intended and that there was no miscommunication. "Absolutely. For that exact reason, so there wouldn't be any confusion about what was going on," Belichick said. "That's why when I was asked after the game, was there confusion on the play. I don't think there was any confusion. Then Clete came over to me after the toss and said, 'You got what you wanted here, right?' I said, 'Yeah, exactly.' "This seems like much ado about nothing for me. I don't really understand what the issue is. What are we talking about here? What should've happened that didn't happen or whatever? I don't know." DraftKings DraftKings has your shot to play for FREE in the $1 Million Fantasy Football Contest THIS SUNDAY! First place takes home $100,000! FOR FREE ENTRY, CLICK HERE.