New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was never safe in team meetings. Almost every workday of the NFL season, Bill Belichick would stand up in front of his team to break down film. And every Monday, Belichick would review film from the game, which would be particularly grueling after a loss.
Edelman would get grilled for drops or muffed punts. But his most memorable Belichickian roast came after a fight with cornerback Stephon Gilmore during practice. Here’s what Edelman remembered of that film session in front of the entire team during an appearance on former Patriots defensive end Chris Long’s podcast, “The Green Light.”
“I got in a fight with Gilmore, and (Belichick) puts it on,” Edelman said. “And he’ll just sit and rewind it like 45 times with silence. Silence. And then when he stands up, there’s the guy where his job is to run and turn the lights on — like majestically turns it on — and then when he sits down, they turn it off.”
Edelman added: “So he sits and rewinds it like 45 times and he stands and he goes, ‘What the (expletive) are we doing?’ We can’t have this. You know what Edelman, you’re over here thinking you’re a tough guy.’ Just getting on me in front of the team. But I think low key he loved it.”
Edelman referred to these sessions as “BillTube” and “Lowlights.” They are an infamous part of playing for the Patriots. And according to Long, Belichick’s practice of sitting down the team — particularly for open criticism — is not common in the NFL. Apparently, most teams break into position meetings or meetings within offense, defense and special teams.
It’s rare for a coach to take the time to break down film, and even rarer for the coach to find the film that leads to criticism of his best players.
“This guy, every day for 45 to 50 minutes each day — every day — and he could call each phase of the game like he was a coordinator,” Edelman said. “And he’s called plays for each phase of the game. And I didn’t even realize that until guys like you (Long) showed up.”