Bill Belichick has become a regular participant at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and is clearly a lover of golf. So it shouldn't have been a surprise this week when he explained the New England Patriots' offensive line issues by using a golf metaphor.
The Pats have allowed QB Tom Brady to be sacked 2.5 times so far in 2017, which is not the worst in the league, but it's not even close to the best. So Belichick explained to a group of reporters that practicing for the offensive and defensive lines is comparable to practicing for golf, if you didn't get to putt.
He told reporters that because linemen often practice without pads, the develop bad habits.
"It's like, you go out to the driving range and hit drives and hit balls, but you can't go on the putting green," Belichick told reporters. "And then, to think that your putting is going to be at the same level as your driving when you can't really practice it, it's not really realistic. But, again, all teams are operating under the same set of rules, so it is what it is. But it's hard. It's hard at that position. It's hard to tell a guy, 'This is what you should do,' but he really can't go out and practice it."
It's a good point, although I'm not totally sure the metaphor is apropos. Interestingly, over the course of the last few years, it has been golf, not football, that has more thoroughly confounded the five-time Super Bowl-winning coach.
"Yeah, I mean there is a lot more pressure here playing golf because it's just you," he told NFL.com before playing the 2014 Pebble Beach Pro-Am. "I was talking to Tom (Brady) and Peyton (Manning), actually, I played both of them this week, we were just commenting on how much easier it is to play football where we sort of know what we're doing versus coming out here, where it's just you, no teammates."