FOXBOROUGH — Steve Belichick described his grandmother as the "nicest, sweetest lady'' on Wednesday, two days after Jeannette Belichick died from natural causes in Annapolis, Md. She was 98.
"It was tough losing her,'' the Patriots' outside linebackers coach said. "Very close to her and the rest of my grandparents. She lived an amazing life . . . I was excited that my daughter was able to meet her and spend some time with her before she passed. That meant a lot to me and my wife. That was really great. She was a very special person . . . She was just so loving and so selfless. She put everybody ahead of herself. Everything she did was geared toward helping other people and loving her family.''
Brian Belichick, the Patriots’ safeties coach, echoed his brother’s sentiments.
"Very loving, caring,'' he said. "She made you feel like you were the most important person in the world to her. She was a great influence on me and influencing me on how to treat other people, how to bring great energy every day [and] be positive.''
‘"It was tough losing her. Very close to her and the rest of my grandparents. She lived an amazing life . . . I was excited that my daughter was able to meet her and spend some time with her before she passed. That meant a lot to me and my wife. That was really great. She was a very special person . . . She was just so loving and so selfless. She put everybody ahead of herself. Everything she did was geared toward helping other people and loving her family.''’
Steven Belichick, speaking about his grandmother
Coach Bill Belichick and his sons were at practice Wednesday afternoon, and Steve said having each other to lean on was important.
“It’s always good to be around family,” he said. "I’ve said it before, but growing up, being in school, didn’t see my dad a lot because he was working hard. We’ve made up for lost time being together every day for 12, 14, 16 hours a day. So, we spend a lot of time together. This hasn’t been new for us. It’s great to be around him any day, but specifically with our loss recently.''
Jeannette and Steve Belichick married in 1950 after meeting as faculty members at Hiram College in Ohio. They raised their only child, Bill, in Annapolis, where Steve was a longtime assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy who was noted for his expertise in scouting opponents.
Mrs. Belichick was a foreign language professor at Hiram.
"We are saddened by the passing of Hiram College alumna and beloved former faculty member Jeannette Belichick, ’42,'' Jennifer Schuller, Hiram’s vice president of development and alumni relations, said in a statement. "It is evident through documented stories and the plaques that hang on our walls that Jeanette loved to share her gift of the language arts through the teaching of countless Hiram students.''
Offerings of support came in from around the NFL, with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Ravens coach John Harbaugh among those who offered condolences to the Belichick family.
Ex-Patriots dot Hall nominees
Former Patriots Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest, Drew Bledsoe, Wes Welker, Logan Mankins, Rodney Harrison, Jerod Mayo, and Asante Samuel were among the nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021.
In all, 130 players were on the list, highlighted by Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, and Charles Woodson.
Seymour, recently elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame, was a finalist for last year’s class.
Passing grade for runner
Running backs coach Ivan Fears said he was pleased with Sony Michel’s Week 1 performance in the 21-11 victory against the Dolphins.
“He was doing a great job,” Fears said. “I didn’t expect him to be able to bounce back this fast, with so much time out, with so much time away from the game.”
Michel, who started training camp on the physically unable to perform list, rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. He was on the field for 30 percent of New England’s offensive snaps, evenly splitting playing time with fellow running backs Rex Burkhead and James White. Undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor also got some reps in the backfield.
Fears said he was glad to see Michel was able to stay in the game on consecutive plays, and called his conditioning “decent.” He also praised his vision, especially given the limited action in live situations this offseason, though he did note there were some missed chances.
“I think he had an opportunity for a huge play when he stumbled over [fullback Jakob Johnson’s] feet,” Fears said. “He’s just got to keep his feet up and get through the line.”
The Patriots had 100 percent attendance at their full pads practice, and that included a couple of new practice squad additions in familiar face James Ferentz and towering quarterback Jake Dolegala. An interior offensive linemen, Ferentz has spent the last three seasons on the Patriots' active roster and practice squad. The 6-foot-7-inch Dolegala played his college ball at Central Connecticut. He was an undrafted rookie in 2019 and spent the entire season on the Bengals' 53-man roster, though he didn’t get any playing time. He was released on cut-down day earlier this month . . . The Patriots promoted kicker Nick Folk and cornerback Myles Bryant to the active roster . . . Receivers N’Keal Harry (shoulder) and Julian Edelman (knee), defensive tackle Adam Butler (shoulder), linebacker Brandon Copeland (knee), and cornerback Jonathan Jones (foot) were limited at the full-pads session. Tight end Dalton Keene (neck) and linebacker Cassh Maluia (knee) were full participants … Carroll said the Seahawks’ organization has been monitoring the poor air quality in Seattle caused by the wild fires on the West Coast but is confident Sunday night’s game will be played. "We see a turn in the weather pattern coming before the weekend and it should help us out,'' he told the Boston media. "We’re tuned into it, the predictions. If you’re paying attention to the science, the predictions are it’s going to move out some here, but anything can happen, so we’ve got to be ready, but we think it’s going to be fine.''
Nicole Yang of the Globe staff contributed to this report.