Vikings Fans Blast Bill Belichick for Disrespecting Adam Thielen

Adam Thielen

Getty Former Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen

There’s a bitter history between Minnesota Vikings star Adam Thielen and legendary coach Bill Belichick.

In case you’ve forgotten, Belichick and Thielen butted heads the last time their two teams faced off back in 2018. Late in that matchup, Thielen called out the New England Patriots for balking an injury in an effort to have more time for replay review before Belichick threw the challenge flag. Thielen barked at Belichick, and the veteran coach came back at him on camera.

Nearly four years later, Belichick appears to not have warmed up to Thielen one bit. Following the Vikings’ 33-26 victory over the Patriots on the nightcap of Thanksgiving Day slate of games, Belichick was caught on camera shrugging off Thielen.

Thielen approached Belichick in a display of sportsmanship and Belichick brushed off an attempted embrace from the Vikings wide receiver.

A closer look shows the two do shake hands, so perhaps the bad blood has simmered. However, fans still did not take Belichick’s cold shoulder lightly.

Fans React to Bill Belichick’s Disrespect of Adam Thielen

A video of Belichick’s cold shoulder went live on Twitter, garnering thousands of reactions around the NFL.

One fan noted this isn’t Belichick’s first instance of a potential oversight of admiration.

Another fan acknowledged Belichick has never been the warmest figure in sports, especially after a loss.

However, a few fans caught a split-second where the camera frame captures the two exchanging a quick handshake. Belichick was also cordial with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2008 and was a backup quarterback in New England for a season.

The bad blood may have simmered between Thielen and Belichick, and with O’Connell realizing his potential as a coach, Belichick is likely proud of the Vikings coach after a bit of a prophetic statement he made on O’Connell back in 2008.

Bill Belichick Called Kevin O’Connell Becoming a ‘Hell of a Coach’

During the offseason, Vikings defensive advisor Mike Pettine reflected on O’Connell’s playing career and a conversation he had in passing with Belichick back in 2008.

Pettine said that in passing, Belicheck, who had been a part of a New England regime that released O’Connell, had nothing but high praise for his leadership and football IQ.

“First impression? I heard it from the [Jets] offensive staff before I really connected with him because I was on the defensive side. I kept hearing, ‘This guy is sharp as hell.’ Then we were getting close to New England week and it was, ‘Hey, you have to make sure you talk to him.’ That’s when we started to connect. He’d come into my office and the next thing you know, 10 minutes turned into 20. It was easy with him, and the maturity struck me,” Pettine said, per “This was a guy that was already a high-level thinker and could process the game quickly, and you just don’t see that often. I know Bill Belichick had said something like this to him, but I told him, jokingly, after a period of time, ‘Hey, you’re not very good as a quarterback, but you’re going to be a hell of a coach someday.’ ”

Fast forward 14 years and O’Connell landed his first head coaching job and has Minnesota (9-2) off to its best start in over a decade.

“This one means a whole heck of a lot just because I have so much respect for that organization and Coach Belichick,” O’Connell said in a November 24 postgame press conference. “So many unbelievable players and coaches have gone through that organization. In my short time there, you guys know I’ve talked about it, it had a monumental impact on my football journey. To see just the longevity of success playing such good football for so long, you can’t say enough about Coach Belichick and what he’s accomplished. But to shake his hand, get a win on our home field in front of our home fans, that’s a really good football team over there, very well-coached football team. Just really proud of our guys. Nothing but respect and admiration for that organization over there.”

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