After coaching the New England Patriots to nine Super Bowl appearances – six wins – Bill Belichick does not have anything left to prove. He is viewed as the best coach in the league and possibly the best in NFL history. However, he still set out to prove a point on Sunday when he trolled Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson.
Following a 17-10 victory over the Eagles, Belichick met with the media to discuss reaching 9-1 on the season and securing yet another winning record. However, he let slip one comment that seemed harmless to many, but others actually realized that it was seemingly in reference to Johnson.
"It looked like everyone had fun out there today and we played a lot of good energy and it was good to come down here and get a win," Belichick said after the win. Back in 2018, Johnson took a shot at the Patriots by saying that they don't have any fun.
Bill Belichick just stuck the Patriots flag on Lane Johnson’s front yard. pic.twitter.com/B5VHqMJ2dB— Mark Dondero (@MarkDondero) November 18, 2019
"I just think that The Patriot Way it's a fear-based organization," Johnson said on the Pardon My Take podcast in February 2018. "Obviously, do they win? Hell yes, they win. They won for a long time. Do I think people enjoy and can say, 'I had a lot of fun playing there'? No, I don't. That's just the God's honest truth.
"When they go to interviews, they act like f----- robots. Hey, let's stop being a d---head. We can be cordial for a little bit. You only get to do this job one time, so let's have fun while we're doing it. Not to be reckless, but hey, I'd much rather have fun and win a Super Bowl than be miserable and win five Super Bowls. But hey, it is what it is."
This comment by Johnson came on the heels of the Eagles winning Super Bowl LII and quarterback Nick Foles winning Super Bowl MVP. The NFC team had run rampant through the postseason while wearing dog masks to promote their status as "underdogs," and they had put their various personalities on full display. This was in stark contrast to the Patriots, who conduct business in a very serious manner while focusing on simply doing the job correctly each and every moment.
Since that infamous comment by Johnson, the Eagles have gone 9-7, losing in the Divisional Round of last year's playoffs, and now they are 5-5 after falling to the Patriots. Reaching the postseason will require winning the NFC East, but the Eagles are behind the Dallas Cowboys in the standings.
Belichick's team, on the other hand, rebounded from the Super Bowl loss against the Eagles and returned to the Big Game the following season. They defeated the Los Angeles Rams and took home the sixth Super Bowl title since Belichick became the head coach in 2000.
Johnson may not believe that the Patriots are having any fun, but they are continuing to win every season. And as Belichick proved on Sunday, he still gets the last laugh, even if he has to wait nearly two years.
(Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty