“Any questions about the Chargers?” asked Bill Belichick yesterday, knowing full well his sub-Nick Zedd experiements in underground cinema would remain a hot topic. The Boston Herald’s John Tomase spoke with a noted public relations strategist, who gave the Patriots’ MILF chasing head coach low marks for his effort yesterday.
A senior vice president at Levick Strategic Communications in Washington, D.C., Greg Wilson watched Belichick’s press conference and didn’t even know where to start.
“He™s no poker player, I™ll tell you that, Wilson said. œThis is a coach well-liked by management and fans, but he dipped into his trust bank with that performance. For somebody who values preparation so much on the field, he wasn™t ready for this press conference.
Wilson watched the video online and was particularly disappointed in Belichick™s meandering opening statement, as well as his decision to walk off the podium in mid-question.
œHe needed to acknowledge what was going on a heck of a lot better right from the get-go, Wilson said. œFirst and foremost he should have said, ˜Look, I know you have lots of questions and you™re going to get answers when I can give them to you. We™re in an ongoing discussion with the league and it wouldn™t be appropriate to comment right now. I know there are a number of things you want to talk about and that™s not lost on me, but we can™t do this right now.™
œHe needed to be more sincere. His buttons got pushed and he overreacted. Someone needed to spend five or 10 minutes firing the dirty, nasty questions at him so he could practice his responses. He should have left the (figurative) four-letter words and facial expressions and bad body language in a back room with a couple of PR guys instead of putting them on national TV.
Had Belichick acted a little differently, Wilson said, he™d be a lot closer to putting the incident behind him.
œWe™re a very forgiving society, he said. œEspecially for people who coach 14-2 teams. But what™s going to happen is, he™s going to be put under the microscope even more and now it™s a question of how much illumination and magnification we™re going to get.
Told that Belichick isn™t particularly forthcoming no matter what™s at stake, Wilson said he™s playing a dangerous game.
œThat strategy works as long as you™re in the top echelon of your profession, he said. œBut if a coach with a winning percentage of .387 made that exact same speech he wouldn™t get away with it.