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Bill Belichick on OMF goes in-depth on breaking down film, including how it's tough to analyze without knowing play calls

Ryan Hannable
November 19, 2018 - 4:59 pm

With the emergence of analytics websites and player grades becoming more and more popular, a lot has been made of who deserves blame for plays that go wrong, and right for that matter.

Appearing on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria, Bill Belichick went in-depth on the subject where he pointed out even watching film of Patriots plays, sometimes he needs to check with players to see what was called on the field to determine who was actually at fault.

“You see a play on film and a receiver goes uncovered down the field, so you know it is one or two guys’ mistake, but you don’t necessarily know which guy it is, right?" Belichick said. "And so, a lot of times you see announcers say, ‘Well Fauria should have taken him, or Belichick should have taken him’ and I am looking at the play saying, ‘Well, it could have been either guy, it just depends on what the call was and what they were doing.’ A lot of times we look at our plays and we see a mistake there and maybe we come off the field and a guy makes a tackle in the back field and we’re like, ‘Oh my God, this guy made a mistake.’ And he tell us, ‘Well no, at the line we called something else,’ so it wasn’t him, and it actually was another guy. 

“A lot of times on film we see that. We see a mistake and have to go back to see what the call was. We know somebody is wrong here, but it just depends on what the call was as to which guy is right and which guy is wrong. A lot of times we don’t know what happened until Monday. We know there’s a problem on the play, but until you actually talk to the players and say, 'OK, what happened on this play — oh, I thought he said this, I didn’t hear it, or he said this, but I played that, whatever it is.’ You’re right, in terms of analytics you get a lot of this guy should have had him, that guy should had him, but I know from our team there are times where we don’t know what went wrong until you really can sort the play out. There’s no way somebody else could know is the point. Sometimes what it looks like is not what it is.

“And then you often see players, defensive backs, somebody gets behind the defense for a touchdown and they pull off or don’t chase because they don’t want it to look like it was their guy, that type of thing. There are plays like that where they kind of definitely skew it, and a lot of times they are big plays. It is an interesting question and an interesting point when it comes to who is at fault, who does what and it actually is pretty frequent that that comes up.”

Belichick continued for several minutes on the subject, which had the interview go nearly 30 minutes.

Related: Josh McDaniels not surprised Sean Payton, Saints stole plays from Patriots

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