Bill Belichick actually planned something 'fun' for Patriots' final days of OTAs

It's too bad that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski didn't show up for the Patriots' final round of OTAs this week, because it appears they missed a fun time. 

Although you almost never hear the word "fun" associated with any team coached by Bill Belichick, it turns out the Patriots coach does seem to have a soft side. For one, Belichick decided to cut down on the team's practice time this week. The Patriots were originally supposed to hold four OTA sessions (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), but Belichick decided to cancel two of the OTAs, which meant the Patriots held their final two practice sessions of the offseason on Monday and Tuesday. And as it turns out, the Patriots didn't even really have an OTA on either day, because Belichick had an activity planned for each day. 

On Monday, the team took a field trip to Fenway Park. With the Red Sox out of town, the Patriots apparently took over the stadium for some team bonding. According to the Boston Herald, the players spent the day playing cornhole and other games. Just a guess here, but Gronk was probably pretty upset when he found out the team canceled their OTA to play cornhole, because he probably would have destroyed everyone.  

One day after the trip to Fenway, Belichick called another audible. Instead of holding an OTA on Tuesday, Belichick took the team back in time to look at the history of football. According to, this involved putting leather footballs on the practice field, learning what players ate in the 1930s (Spoiler alert: Hot dogs) and watching film of games played nearly 90 years ago. 

One player told ESPN that the experience was actually fun. 

"It was a lot of fun. We walked in and you could tell something different was going on than the normal practice day," one anonymous player said.

Another player also described the experience as "neat." (By the way, it appears the players chose to remain anonymous so that they didn't get any trouble for sharing team secrets)

"It was cool for him to get a chance to teach us about the sport that we're in, the National Football League and kind of how it started," the player said. "We got to watch some old clips from football back then -- the '30s and '40s -- that I had never seen before. I didn't know what type of offenses were run, so it was really neat to see. We even looked at high school football back then, all the way up to NFL."

Belichick has made sure to add some excitement to OTAs this year. Besides the two activities this week, the Patriots coach also had Kobe Bryant visit with the team back in May. It's possible that Belichick has decided that he needs to change a few things if he wants to connect with the younger generation. 

The history lesson on Tuesday marked the Patriots' final OTA of the offseason, which means the team won't be back on the field until training camp kicks off in late July. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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