Bill Belichick is viewed by many as the dark overlord CEO of the greatest dynasty in NFL history, striking fear in the hearts of his players and squashing all forms of resistance. He doesn’t bat an eyelash before cutting a player who even thinks about making a peep or giving attitude. Back when The Hoodie was the defensive coordinator of the Giants, he wasn’t nearly as intimidating.
Former Giants postseason legend and Super Bowl hero Jeff Hostetler went on the Three Guys Before the Game podcast and told an amazing story about an instance when he drilled Belichick in the head with a football for getting in his way during a seven on seven practice drill. It’s a helluva tale. (Move ahead to 34 min to listen)
According to Hostetler:
Well, I would run a little bit of the seven-on-seven for the defense. And Belichick would always have these cards out and he would show us what he wants us to do. And then he would turn where the center would be, he would turn and he would watch his defense. And so we were running all these crossing routes . . . and so all of a sudden, we’re running these crossing routes, and he stands right there where the center is. I drop back, and it’s a two-yard crossing route. And I drill it to the guy.
“Well, all of a sudden, Bill’s head is right in the way. It hits him in the head. His papers fly everywhere. The ball flies everywhere. Everybody stops and it’s like, everything just went quiet. It’s like, ‘Uh-oh.’ And then he starts ripping into me and yelling at me and grabbing his papers. After that was over with, I had almost every defensive player come up to me and say, ‘Hey, great job, Hoss. Great job.’ And it was like, I was accepted. . . . Belichick hated me after that, but my only response to him was, ‘Well, don’t stand there.’”
It’s unimaginable to think about this happening now, but Belichick wasn’t always untouchable, and on this day he got touched.