FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick surprised NFL Network hosts Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock during Monday’s broadcast of the NFL combine with a visit, and presented Eisen with a check for an undisclosed amount to benefit the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
As part of a combine tradition, Eisen runs a 40-yard dash at the end of the event to benefit St. Jude’s.
“What you’ve done with this event has been amazing. Your 40 is historic now. It’s certainly the icing on the cake of this whole event,” Belichick said on the broadcast.
Belichick had handed Eisen the check before the interview, and then it was mentioned by Eisen during the interview.
Overall, Belichick was complimentary of the work of Eisen and Mayock.
“I just want to say, on behalf of all the football fans out there, you guys do a tremendous job,” he said. “This is a tremendous production. Mike, I know how hard it is to do a draft board for one team. It’s hard. You’re doing it for 32 teams, as well as knowing what all the teams are looking for, and who their players are, and putting it all together for us. You guys do an awesome, awesome job. I can’t tell you how much information you put out there to the fans, and I’d say the league. Put me in that category too.”
A few other nuggets from Belichick:
Of the combine: “It’s really impressive. Just about everybody’s working out.”
Of the value of watching on TV: “There have been a couple times this week where I haven’t been able to watch this, but I’ve been able to follow it on TV. Honestly, you don’t really miss anything. There was a time when these broadcasts had specials and you’d cut away and miss a whole drill, or the 40 or whatever. Now you virtually see every guy do everything. It’s great. ... And the guys you’re working with, I hear them saying, ‘Go back and watch this game against Auburn.’ That’s great information because you don’t always get to do that. Like I said, the depth you cover this event, and the college draft, and the way you put it together with what teams need and how these players fit differently from team to team based on their skill set, it’s really great. You get a lot of insight.”
Of his Monday morning visit: “I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to get the top ratings,” he cracked.
Of what Matt Patricia will bring to the Lions: “He’s going to bring a great work ethic. A lot of intelligence. A lot of thought into everything they do -- from practice to strategy to situational football. They’re going to work hard, I’ll guarantee you that. Matt is as hard a working guy as I’ve ever been around. He’s smart, too. He put together those rockets there in college. I can’t even get my cell phone on.”