In the NFL, it's common knowledge that Bill Belichick is a man that must be asked very specific questions during his press conferences. When given the opportunity to answer "yes" or "no" without expanding his thoughts, the New England Patriots legend will do so in a heartbeat.
However, there are still plenty reporters that fail to follow these basic rules when talking to, arguably, the greatest coach in the history of the NFL.
The perfect example of this phenomenon presented itself on Saturday when the Patriots were facing off against the Tennessee Titans in the team's second pre-season match-up. Belichick took part in his traditional halftime interview with WBZ’s Steve Burton, during which he discussed the basic points of the game. But then the reporter said, "You put out a statement [about Josh Gordon] earlier today. Anything you’d like to add to that?"
With this, Burton committed the cardinal sin of asking a "yes or no" question. As expected, Belichick's response was very short and to the point.
Vintage Belichick interview on Josh Gordon.August 18, 2019
For context on the situation, the NFL reinstated Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon on a conditional basis. The wide receiver had been suspended indefinitely in late December 2018 for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the league's substance-abuse policy. The news came shortly after Gordon announced that he would be stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.
On Friday, however, the league reinstated Gordon and gave him another opportunity to pursue his football career. In response, the Patriots and Coach Belichick released a statement that was viewed as overly cryptic.
"For the past eight months, Josh’s situation has been entirely a league matter. When Josh returns to our program, we will evaluate the entire situation and do what we feel is best for Josh and the team."0comments
The part of the statement that drew the most attention on Saturday was the line about doing what the Patriots feel is best for Gordon and the team. This didn't exactly clarify if he would be back on the team for the 2019 season or if he would be released. There were obvious questions left unanswered, which brings us back to Burton's interview on Saturday.
Unfortunately for the reporter, he forgot how to properly approach Belichick in this type of situation and ended up leaving empty-handed.