Invoice Belichick’s exit marks a ‘unhappy’ day for Patriots fan Charlie Coyle


“You form of take it as a right, when these good issues come to an finish.”

Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, in Denver.
Charlie Coyle, a Weymouth native, is a lifelong Patriots fan. (AP Picture/David Zalubowski)

Charlie Coyle by no means met Invoice Belichick over his six seasons with the Bruins — nor in his childhood years whereas rising up in Weymouth.

However like many lifelong Patriots followers, the Bruins centerman admitted that the sight of Belichick strolling off the rostrum at Gillette Stadium for a ultimate time on Thursday was a tricky tablet to swallow.

“You form of take it as a right, when these good issues come to an finish,” Coyle said of Belichick’s departure from the Patriots on Thursday. “But it surely’s unhappy. It feels prefer it impacts me, and I’m only a fan. I couldn’t think about individuals within the group and everybody that he’s touched nearer to him. However yeah, it appears like one thing simply occurred in my life.”

After years of watching Belichick, Tom Brady and the remainder of the Patriots routinely trounce opponents each Sunday, Coyle acknowledged that almost all New Englanders have solid a particular kinship with the legendary head coach — a sentiment strengthened with every new Lombardi Trophy that he hoisted in February.

“You’re feeling such as you do since you watch him each Sunday. You tuned in, you watched his press conferences,” Coyle mentioned of Patriots followers’ reference to Belichick. “I don’t assume I’ve ever met him personally, however I really feel like I’ve and I really feel like a part of you simply obtained ripped away.”

Bruins bench boss Jim Montgomery — very like his TD Backyard colleague, Joe Mazzulla — took many classes away from his conferences with the previous Patriots head coach over the past yr. 

“I simply requested plenty of questions. I used to be simply attempting to soak within the information, and he was an open e book,” Montgomery mentioned of his interactions with Belichick throughout an invitation to Patriots OTA practices final Might. “And he was nice about it, about how he handles conditions, gamers, position gamers, star gamers, after which additionally simply selecting his mind on matchups and stuff and the way he thinks and what’s necessary in these conditions.”

At first look, drawing parallels between soccer and hockey would possibly seem to be a stretch — particularly from a strategic standpoint. However Montgomery believes that there’s loads in frequent between two sports activities that includes 60 minutes of managed chaos.

“I believe the one factor that was frequent was I mentioned, ‘Should you’re trying on the complete, what’s the No. 1 factor you take a look at [that’s] necessary offensively and defensively?’ And he mentioned, ‘Proudly owning the center of the sector,’ ” Montgomery mentioned of Belichick’s classes. “And that’s the identical factor for me in hockey.

“You’ve obtained to personal the center of the ice as a result of with the puck offensively, in the event you can assault the center of the ice, every little thing opens up, proper? And soccer’s the identical factor. You hit somebody over the center, he can use the [width of the gridiron].”

Loads of change is in retailer in Foxborough shifting ahead. Whereas New England could have a brand new coach patrolling the sidelines in 2024, all indicators level to Belichick teaching elsewhere looking for the NFL’s all-time wins document.  

Regardless of the optics of Belichick’s exit on Thursday after 24 seasons in Foxborough, Coyle centered on the positives that the Patriots head coach and the remainder of the franchise have been in a position to craft for over twenty years. 

“I simply respect the heck out of him, simply [because] he’s all about enterprise, and simply, no matter he’s obtained to do this day to do his job,” Coyle mentioned of Belichick. “And that’s how he was daily. He appeared like he didn’t get too excessive, didn’t get too low. He was simply all enterprise each time and also you respect individuals who convey that perspective and what they do for the game they love. I imply, it labored out fairly, fairly [well].”