FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Before reporters could ask New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick any questions at Thursday’s news conference, he thanked those who expressed their condolences after the passing of his mother.
Jeannette Belichick, 98, died of natural causes Monday night in Annapolis, Maryland.
Belichick specifically mentioned Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, who the Patriots face on Sunday, along with Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
He took the time to remember his mother and noted that since he is an only child, he was really close with both of his parents, and spent a lot of time with his mom.
“She was a great woman. I certainly learned pretty much everything from my parents, and the love that she gave to her grandkids was ultra special to me as well,” Belichick said. “I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and condolences that they expressed. She had almost 99 years, so, a very long and happy life. She’ll be with my dad now.”
Belichick’s father, Steve, died in 2005 at 85 years old.
Belichick said even though his news conference was canceled on Wednesday and didn’t get the chance to talk about Seattle, they are a great football program.
“We know how tough it’s going to be out there, it’s always tough against those guys,” he said. “We know we are going to have to be at our best on Sunday, that’s what we are trying to do, we are trying to improve from last week and try to get the best football that we can play.”
When asked about Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, he said he is a “tremendous player.”
“Honestly, I think he’s, in a way, underrated by the media or the fans, I don’t know. But I don’t really see anybody better than this player,” Belichick added. “He can do everything. He plays very well in the most critical situations in the game with his decision-making, running, passing.”
Wilson, a six-time Pro Bowler, has never received a vote for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award.
Belichick says Wilson was part of a “big three” that the Patriots need to take note of, which also includes Carroll and linebacker Bobby Wagner.
“Those three guys, you can’t really find a game that they don’t epitomize everything the Seahawks stand for and the success they’ve had,” he said. “I think the team really runs through those three guys.”
Kickoff for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 8:20 p.m.