Even though it’s been more than three years since he’s suited up for the Buffalo Bills, LeSean McCoy still harbors some bad feelings toward Bill Belichick.
The former Bills running back opened up about Belichick during a recent appearance on the I AM ATHLETE podcast, revisiting some of the more sordid allegations against the New England Patriots coach’s preparation style and his allegedly loose adherence to the league’s surveillance rules.
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McCoy Calls out Belichick
During the podcast, former Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams spoke about the strangely accurate gameplans that Broncos head coach and Belichick disciple Josh McDaniels cooked up. As Williams noted, McDaniels was better prepared for games than any other coach he had seen, with very specific “keys to victory” that included an in-depth knowledge of the opponent’s tendencies and play calls.
Williams recalled a year in which the Broncos started 6-0, but after losing to the San Francisco 49ers the team got in trouble for illegally filming the 49ers practice, and McDaniels was fired a short time later. McCoy believes that McDaniels learned the rule-breaking from Belichick, as the Patriots under Belichick were punished for illegally videotaping coaching the New York Jets’ coaching signals in a scandal that became known as “Spygate.”
“That’s the Belichick way,” McCoy said.
As USA Today Sports’ For the Win noted, Williams had an imperfect recollection of the McDaniels scandal. While McDaniels did lead the Broncos to a 6-0 start in the 2009 season only to end the year 2-8 to miss the playoffs, it was the next season that the team was disciplined for filming the 49ers practice. The Broncos were 2-6 after that loss to the 49ers, when McDaniels was fired.
But the report also pointed out the more glaring connection between the 49ers scandal and Spygate.
“In 2010, McDaniels and the Broncos were each fined $50,000 after a team staffer, Steve Scarnecchia, got caught filming a San Francisco 49ers practice in London,” the report noted. “Scarnecchia was also involved in the Patriots’ Spygate scandal, so yeah, the guy’s track record wasn’t great.”
McCoy Also Grilled Patriots Owner
McCoy had a chance to take his gripe with Belichick straight to the top, saying later in the episode that he ran into Patriots owner Robert Kraft at a party a few years ago. McCoy said he instead used the opportunity to question Kraft on why they let Tom Brady leave for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“‘I love Tommy,’” McCoy recalled Kraft replying. “‘I’m mad he left. I told Bill [Belichick], damn it, you let Tom go win a championship. It’s time for you to go win one.’”
Brady’s departure was a boon for McCoy, who joined the Buccaneers in 2020 and won a Super Bowl with the former Patriots quarterback at the helm. McCoy shared some big praise for his former rival turned teammate, saying he’s never seen another player who had such a positive effect on a team as he did with Brady.
“He’s the only player I’ve been around where, yo, I don’t care who’s playing this game. We’ve got ’12,’” he said. “He makes everyone believe — he’s such a good dude, he encourages the janitor. He makes the janitor feel better about himself.”