New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick hadn't addressed the media since former tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd last month. He stepped to the podium on Wednesday, however, and expressed a great deal of emotion regarding the situation.
Belichick is known for giving vanilla analysis during his press conferences, but he appeared to be more forthcoming and genuine than fans and media members have grown accustomed to, according to Zuri Berry of Boston.com:
Belichick avoided mentioning Hernandez's name as much as possible, according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, but he discussed the matter at length:
According to NFL: Around the League on Twitter, Belichick expressed remorse for the victim and those connected to him. He also stated that he was "disappointed" by the entire situation:
Belichick was solemn throughout his opening address to the media, as seen in this photo taken by Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com:
Throughout his statement, the Patriots coach often looked down at the podium and read from a sheet of paper. Even so, Belichick came across as genuine and seemed to be legitimately hurt by everything that has happened over the past several weeks.
As Belichick was speaking to the media, Hernandez was standing in front of a judge for a probable cause hearing. Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith provided a split screen of Belichick and Hernandez that most couldn't have imagined six weeks ago:
The judge granted the prosecution a continuance until Aug. 22, according to WPRI 12 in Providence, R.I., so his situation remains murky:
The NFL on ESPN Twitter feed caught this quote from Belichick in regards to the Hernandez situation:
Much like everyone else who has learned about the details surrounding Hernandez's murder charges, Belichick claimed that he and the rest of the organization were shocked when they first heard about the circumstances, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer:
Also, while Belichick didn't and shouldn't have taken the blame for Hernandez's actions, he did confirm that he is responsible for the players who join the team, according to Breer:
After his statement, Belichick was asked a number of different questions by media members. While he answered some, he was incredibly vague and refused to answer any questions in relation to the ongoing legal proceedings. Breer noted that he told his players to exercise the same restraint:
Hernandez's woes are far from over, and questions will likely continue to be thrown in Belichick's direction. But the three-time AP NFL Coach of the Year finally attacked things head-on Wednesday and broke the deafening silence.
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