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Bill Belichick allegedly gave hardworking and underpaid Patriots coaches wads of cash that can be worth thousands


Bill Belichick. David J. Phillip / AP Images

  • Bill Belichick would give cash bonuses to underpaid coaches, according to a new book.

  • Bundles of bills called “green balls” could sometimes be worth thousands of dollars.

  • The Patriots’ assistants were often overworked and underpaid, but Belichick also offered key stability.

It doesn’t always pay well to work for Bill Belichick, but it pays to impress him.

According to Seth Wickersham’s new book on the New England Patriots, “Better to be Feared,” Belichick often gives cash bonuses to hard-working coaches.

“Green balls,” as they are called within the organization, can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, according to Wickersham.

“Belichick would reward coaches who earned little, out of his own pocket,” Wickersham wrote. “During the season, he handed out what were called ‘green balls,’ bundles of banknotes that could run into the thousands of dollars. After the season, he wrote a personal check to staff members who had outperformed – sometimes up to six digits. “

As the book details, working for Belichick could be a blessing and a curse.

Belichick often puts his staff to work long, rigorous hours. He would be in his office at 4:30 a.m. and wouldn’t leave until after midnight some evenings. As Wickersham wrote, Belichick’s “7 PM was different from anyone else’s” – spent watching a movie, trying to answer a schematic question, finding more to learn.

According to Wickersham, the coaches met in the early evening to watch a movie. Belichick replayed the mistakes over and over again, criticizing the players and coaches. There would be a five minute break to get some food, then return to the movie theater before sending the coaches on their own to dissect the issues.

Wickersham described the atmosphere in the Patriots building as unique to the NFL: “calm, lifeless and focused.”

According to Wickersham, after the Patriots’ first Super Bowl victory in 2001, two assistant coaches wondered, “At what cost?

Additionally, Belichick was known to underpay coaches. There were two nicknames for lower level staff in New England: “PHDs” for “poor, hungry and motivated” and “20/20,” young coaches working 20 hours a day for $ 20,000 a year.

Bill Belichick allegedly gave hardworking and underpaid Patriots coaches wads of cash that can be worth thousands

Belichick. Matt Stone / MediaNews Group / Boston Herald / Getty Images

Despite the harsh conditions and low wages, working for Belichick also had its advantages. As Wickersham noted, Belichick rarely fired coaches – “once you were in it, you were mostly in”.

In a profession characterized by high turnover and instability, the Patriots have become the face of stability. Coaches could stay put for a long time, allowing local friendships and their children to stay at the same school.

Working for Belichick has also provided a springboard for the careers of many coaches – assistants like Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia all had head coaching opportunities after thriving in New England.

According to Wickersham, Belichick even tried to help coaches earn more, telling assistants to take on one-year contracts, so they would have more flexibility and leverage year after year.

Read the original article on Insider

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