TV Timeout: Varied reaction to Bill Belichick press conference

Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s handling of Wednesday’s press conference, when he addressed the Aaron Hernandez situation, was the topic of the last 24 hours from TV’s talking heads. Here is a sampling of how it played:
 
FROM THE HUB: WEEI’s John Dennis, on Belichick’s presser: “It was a sad mixture of candor and contrition, sadness and anger, and something we rarely, if ever, see from Bill Belichick: That would be humility and humanity.” WEEI’s Gerry Callahan added, “He surprised me at every turn. He genuinely seemed like this affected him and he did not downplay it, diminish it, dismiss it at any point.”
Will Belichick’s reaction help the team going forward, help the organization, and help Belichick’s image? Callahan: “It could hurt the team because this is something new; because I’ve never seen him affected by something. This affected him. Why do we think, if it affected this coach, this rock, why do we think this won’t affect this team?”
Dennis added that the Belichick comments can help the team “diffuse or mitigate this idea that the New England Patriots are arrogant, the New England Patriots have this superiority complex, the New England Patriots think their feces doesn’t stink, the Patriots are holier than thou, and while probably a lot of people still think that across the country, I think Bill Belichick, in that seven-minute statement, went a long way to say, ‘This is affecting us too. We are hurt by this.’” (“Dennis & Callahan,” WEEI-FM, 7/25).
 
GOING AROUND THE HORN: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke: “For the most part, he was very un-Belichickian. He was very humble, he was somber, he was affected. He clearly knows his role as the leader of a team that is supposed to be one of the pillars of the community. He seemed very remorseful and he actually admitted that the Patriots could do things differently.” … Denver Post columnist Woody Paige: “This didn’t seem like the Bill Belichick that normally comes into press conferences and wants to be confrontational. I believe that he was very well prepared. I believe either the attorneys or the PR staff or a lot of other people — Robert Kraft — had said, ‘Here is what you’ve got to address.’” … ESPN’s Bomani Jones: “Given the fact he didn’t even bother to take the pencil from behind his ear before giving his talk looked to me like a man that just wanted to get this over with.” … ESPN’s Pablo Torre: “I don’t know why he couldn’t answer something that Bob Kraft did … which was that he felt duped. I don’t know if that’s really compromising a legal process. My frustration with Bill Belichick is that the guy isn’t an artist working in a room by himself, free to be unbothered by the public. He is the head of a very public organization, a very well-paid guy. We should expect a lot more of Bill Belichick.” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 7/24).
 
OTHERS CHIME IN:
• NFL Network’s Albert Breer: “If there’s one thing that surprised me, it was how far that he went with his tone. You could sense regret, you could sense sympathy and you sense even a little bit of embarrassment that his program is connected to this” (“NFL Total Access,” NFL Network, 7/24).

• ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck: “He did a good job of conveying the importance of the issue, but at the same time putting a lid on how much he was going to go into it and talk about it.” (“NFL Live,” ESPN, 7/24).

• NBC Sports’ Dave Briggs: “The ‘Patriot Way’ was considered the gold standard in terms of the players they brought in. Now it’s forever changed. That brand is forever damaged.” (“Today,” NBC, 7/25).

• SI’s Jim Trotter: “We’re kidding ourselves if we think that Robert Kraft and the team attorneys didn’t have something to do with the statement that went on today. He had bullet points there that he kept hitting over and over for us.” (“Rome,” CBS Sports Network, 7/24).

• N.Y. Daily News’ Bob Raissman: “That was more emotion than I’ve ever seen [Belichick] display. They’ll be haunted by this and it’s going to dog them all season.” (“Daily News Live,” SNY, 7/24).

• CBS Sports Network’s Allie LaForce: “I like that he said, ‘Condolences to the family, I care about you and I’m hurt by this as well.’” … CBS Sports Network’s Doug Gottlieb: “I will point out that these guys were invested in the Aaron Hernandez business until [they cut him]. Is that the reason that he is bothered by it? Yeah, he’s troubled by it, but at some point somebody needs to say, ‘He was one of us.’” (“Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 7/24).
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