Tuesday morning BC players quickly ran from the locker room inside Alumni Stadium to Fish Field House trying to beat the early frigid temperatures. There was yelling, singing, full sprints and some light jogs.
The energy was up for the second spring practice session as the Eagles begin to lay the foundation for what they hope is a special season. It’s hard not to be impressed with just how much intensity and emotion is being showed by kids at 9 A.M. in March, but it’s even easier for the players to have the football juices flowing early when there are some pretty important guests watching every move you make.
A group of Patriots defensive coaches was on hand bright and early getting a close look at the Eagles. Jerod Mayo, Steve Belichick, Brian Belichick and Demarcus Covington were all in the building.
During the early drills, Mayo and Steve Belichick stood side-by-side, watching sled and tackling drills intently. Covington and Brian Belichick did the same a few yards away. Before the drills had started, Coach Hafley jogged over and chatted with the group for a bit before heading back over at the start of the team’s stretching period.
Hafley and defensive coordinator Tem Lukabu are widely considered to be great defensive minds, with Hafley’s area of expertise obviously coming in the secondary. It’s no secret that the Patriots could use a new corner at some point and probably will down the road. At the very least, Hafley can help with some draft intel on guys this year and moving forward. The most beneficial part to the relationship for the Pats could (should) be the different ways of thinking Hafley or Lukabu may have when it comes to the game or how guys are being coached these days.
On BC’s end of it, Hafley and the staff can only benefit from having the chance to gain knowledge and take ideas from Bill Belichick on how he and his staff thinks and operates, whether anyone currently thinks they’re good ideas or not, some of them have clearly worked for a couple decades.
Hafley and Steven Belichick go way back and continued to bounce ideas off of each other when Hafley was in the NFL.
“Steven and I had a relationship the one year I spent at Rutgers, Steven was a player and he was in my office all the time talking football,” Hafley explained after practice on Tuesday. “Steven and I kept in touch throughout my time in the NFL. Whether it was questions about what we were doing on defense, teams that we played, teams he played…we spoke.
“Then, they wanted to come by and bring some of the defensive guys and talk some defensive football, sit in on some meetings, watch some tape with us and I mean, shoot, that’s a blessing for us, right?”
It seems as if there’s an open door policy at Alumni Stadium and 1 Patriot Place these days and local football fans should be excited about it.
“Now that Covid is hopefully going away, (Steven) said come out any time and I’ll definitely do that when they have OTAs,” Hafley added. “You want to talk about a resource, that’s incredible, we’re just grateful they’re here.
“It just shows you right, one of the greatest teams and greatest staffs in all of football and those guys constantly want to learn and observe. I think it sends a great message to not only myself and the team, but the coaching staff. I appreciate them coming here, I think it’s awesome and I’m grateful for it.”