Belichick takes blame for Patriots’ OTA violation

Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick took responsibility for the team having two organized team activities taken away by the NFL and backed assistant coach Joe Judge for his role in the violation that led to the team being punished.

The violation was a result of coaches’ scheduling that resulted in players spending more than their allowed time at the team facility, according to sources. Specifically, it was a result of special teams workshops led by Judge, sources said.

“The whole situation is in the past, it’s resolved, and we’ve moved on. It was three meetings [in Phase 2 of the offseason program] … I’m responsible for it, so that’s it,” Belichick said Wednesday.

Specific to Judge, who will be working with special teams units among other responsibilities in 2023, Belichick added: “Joe is great. Smart guy. Has a lot of experience. He’ll do whatever we need him to do, and he can do a lot. So, he will.”

Belichick was fined $50,000 by the NFL for the infraction, which stripped the team of an organized team activity on May 25 and May 30. The team was back on the field Wednesday, with Belichick cracking a joke when asked how losing two OTAs affected the team.

“We had a good long weekend,” he said.

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