Bill Belichick is 68 years old, an age that makes him a higher risk for severe illness if he contracts COVID-19.
Asked Friday during a teleconference with reporters whether he considered opting out of the 2020 season, Belichick suggested he's not worried.
"I feel very good about the environment that we're in. I feel fine," he said, via Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.
Belichick added that none of his coaching staff has opted out of the season.
While 67 players decided to sit out the 2020 campaign instead of playing during a pandemic, we've heard little about coaches considering skipping the season. Given the age of many coaches, they'd be considered higher risk than most players -- the lack of a union means any opt-outs from their part wouldn't have been collectively bargained as it was for players.
Belichick said he didn't see much difference in how coaches interact with players on the field due to social distancing protocols.
"Uh, I guess we'll see. Yesterday was the first day that we had a walk-through with both the offense and defense on the field at the same time, so prior to yesterday we were defense against defense, offense against offense," he said. "Yesterday was our first chance to do that. I would say it looked to me like all the coaches coached and the players played pretty much like we always do other than masks and some other modifications, things like that. Nah, I didn't see any substantial difference."
The future Hall of Fame coach suggested that the changes due to COVID-19 protocols haven't substantially changed how he goes about his business.
"You know, honestly, I wouldn't say any of it has just been overwhelming," he said. "We wear masks, there's not a buffet line for food, the food's ordered, it's boxed and packaged. The dining staff has done a great job. The meetings are in bigger rooms, we're more spread out. But essentially it's the same meeting, we're just distanced and wearing masks. I think everybody's just a little more conscious of the hand-washing, the sanitizing, the distancing, you know we wear monitors and all that. There's just a higher awareness of it, but, I mean fundamentally we're still going over the material, the same material in a similar progression. We have walk-throughs, we have meetings, we have training and conditioning. We're gonna eventually have individual drills when we get to Phase Two. Then we're gonna get to Phase Three and have 11-on-11 drills. I don't think it's monumental, but certainly, there are adjustments. None of which I would say are particularly inhibiting."
Even during a pandemic, the old coach still has some dry jokes up his (cutoff) sleeves: