Nora Princiotti

A foot of snow? Bill Belichick will not accept excuses if tardy

Be prepared for the weather, like Patriots coach Bill Belichick. And don’t be late.
Be prepared for the weather, like Patriots coach Bill Belichick. And don’t be late. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff)

With more than a foot of snow forecast for Thursday, veteran Patriots have made sure their younger teammates know that Bill Belichick has a no-excuses policy when it comes to tardiness.

“Coach has mentioned that several times to the team,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said. “I wouldn’t want to be the guy who’s late tomorrow. But look, I don’t think we’re going to have an issue. Guys understand we need to be here. The expectation is what it is. We live in New England. There’s going to be weather. Give yourself some extra time, as simple as that.”

The reminders help, but Belichick’s distaste for players who run late to practice is well documented. Belichick sent Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Gary Guyton, and Derrick Burgess home after they were late to practice because of a snowstorm in 2009.


There was also, more recently, the Jonas Gray alarm clock incident in 2014.

“This day and age, the social media world and the different things [we] have, I think everyone has probably seen it,” McCourty said. “He’s mentioned it that he doesn’t care. Don’t call and say your car got stuck. I think everyone knows there’s two hotels up here at Patriot Place, so stay there for the night. Find a way.

“But I tell guys, like wake up earlier, especially if you don’t have a garage or something. Wake up. Go clean your car out. I think guys know. We’re in the NFL playoffs. If you’ve been here for a week or two weeks you kind of get that this guy Bill that talks every day in the morning meeting, he doesn’t play. So not much needs to be said about being here on time and being ready to work.”

A few players said they’d get up early Thursday morning in case some extra shovel time would be needed.


Stephon Gilmore and Rowe noted that they keep their cars in garages, so they would be all right, at least on the way to work.

Harmon has a snowblower handy for once the season is over, but he has someone come and clear a pathway for him during the months while he’s still playing.

“I work hard enough,” Harmon cracked. “Can’t be out there taking my sleep away trying to shovel or snowblow in the morning.”

Nora Princiotti can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @NoraPrinciotti.