July 20, 2018 / 11:06 AM / 10 months ago

LB Harrison praises Belichick; Amendola has fond (and not-so-fond) memories

Like his team, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick can be rather polarizing.

Jan 31, 2018; Bloomington, MN, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during a press conference at the Mall of America in advance of Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Whether he is en evil hooded genius, or just plain evil, likely depends on whether one is a fan of his team. But when it comes to his players, opinions usually don’t vary too much. But that’s not always the case.

Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who joined the New England Patriots late last season, said Thursday that Bill Belichick is a better head coach than Mike Tomlin.

Speaking on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed,” Steelers’ all-time sacks leader said Belichick’s name when asked to pick who was better. When asked if Belichick was “by far” better, Harrison replied, “To me, yes.”

“Mike Tomlin is good as a head coach,” Harrison said. “He’s a players’ coach. I think he needs to be a little bit more disciplined.

“The big thing with Belichick is he’s very regimented, he’s disciplined, everyone is going to be on the same page, there’s not going to be anything as far as someone doing their own thing. I think over there [in New England], their whole coaching staff is like that.”

Harrison left Pittsburgh on less-than-ideal terms, being released in December — with input from Tomlin into the decision — partly because he was reportedly showing up late or being absent over displeasure with playing time.

Also on Thursday, former Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, now with Miami, talked about Belichick during a podcast on Barstool Sports. He agreed Belichick isn’t the friendliest of coaches. But he doesn’t view that in quite the same positive light as does Harrison.

Amendola called Dolphins head coach Adam Gase “one of the guys,” adding, “He’s our leader, he’s our head coach, but he’s also our boy.”

“It’s cool, it’s refreshing to have that kind of relationship with a coach, something I haven’t had in a long time,” Amendola continued. .”.. Back in New England, it’s almost like you had a principal and a principal’s office and s—- like that; in a good way and a bad way, too.”

Amendola also called Belichick the best head coach of all time. But the wideout, who left for Miami after what he said was an inferior offer from New England, has previously had sharp words about the way Belichick handled the benching of defensive back Malcolm Butler during the team’s Super Bowl LII loss to Philadelphia.

“I don’t know the answer to that to this date,” Amendola said back in April. “I know we had 40-some-odd guys dressed up for the game, all of them didn’t play, and for whatever reason felt — he’s the coach, I can’t make that decision, I can only do my job. ... In hindsight, it’s like, really, ‘What agenda are we on?’ It’s something I’ll probably never understand.”

“Nobody really got an explanation for it,” Amendola continued. “He’s a brother of ours. He was a brother of ours that year. And I hate to see a guy who worked so hard throughout the season not get a chance to play in the biggest game of the year and really get no explanation for it. With that said, I don’t know how the business aspect went into that decision. I don’t know how the personal aspect went into that decision between him and Bill. But as a friend, I would have loved to see him on the field that day.”

—Field Level Media

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