NFL Draft prospect reveals what it's like to be interviewed by Belichick at combine
Stanford safety Justin Reid explains what it's like to be interviewed by Bill Belichick at the NFL combine
The Patriots are one of the most secretive organizations in the NFL and it's not very often you get to hear about how their coaching staff prepares for the draft, but we did get a small inside look at that over the weekend thanks to Stanford safety Justin Reid, who was interviewed by the Patriots coaching staff at the NFL combine.
During the combine, players are asked to do several formal interviews. The big catch with these interviews is that the prospect doesn't have any idea who he'll be talking with until he walks in the room and meets the team.
For Reid, that meant he had no idea he was going to be speaking to Bill Belichick on Friday night.
"It's like, you walk into the room, and it's like, 'Ah, Coach Belichick is here.' It's an awesome feeling to have the head coach," Reid told NESN.com.
So what it's like to go through a 20-minute interview with one of the most brilliant minds in the NFL?
"It was cool. I know they heard about kind of how intelligent of a player I am, so they wanted to quiz me to see what I knew," Reid said. "They brought up some film and asked me what I was doing in this coverage, what were some of the linebackers doing in the coverage. What I was thinking, what I saw, some formation alerts, some formation tendencies, things like that. Just to get a feel for how I saw the defense, and I feel like I left an impression."
One thing Reid did note is that he came away from the interview as a huge fan of the Patriots' head coach.
"He's a totally different guy than he is (in front of the media)," Reid said. "He's actually a really, really good guy."
Although the Patriots might not be in the market for a safety during the first or second round -- when Reid is projected to get picked -- the former Stanford player sounds like he was tailor-made for New England. At one point during his interview with reporters on Friday, he was asked about what it was like to prepare for opposing offenses in college and he gave an answer that Belichick would probably be proud of.
"Well we game plan teams heavily," Reid said. "So, first and foremost, we do personnels and matchups. We see what type of formations they have. 'What are their favorite plays?' Because first and foremost, we're going to take their favorite plays first and we want to match our favorite defenses to their favorite plays and get that out of the way right away."
That's straight out of Belichick's defensive playbook.
"Then we start getting into their personnel grouping and the personality of that," Reid said. "'What was the quarterback reading? Who does he like to throw the ball to? Who's his favorite receiver? What do they typically do on first-and-10? What do they do on third-and-3? What's their run-down formation? Is it third-and-2? Is it third-and-3?' Then we get into these formations and tendencies. That way you have an idea of what offense is going to be playing what defense.'"
With both their starting safeties (Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty) over 30 years old, the Patriots are going to have to look to the draft at some point to replace them, but don't look for New England to spend a first or second-round pick on a safety this year.
If you're wondering who the Patriots might take with the 31st overall pick, you can click here and check out our multiple mock drafts here at CBSSports.com.
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