“I call it the jar. No phone or utility lines going in.” Brill opens a side door revealing a mini generator. He pushes the start button. The generator Hums to life. “Self-contained. Unplugged from the world. Nothing for a wire bug to piggy-back in on. That leaves only transmitters and it’s easy enough to signal sweep for those.”
Wire Bugs? Transmitters? Signal sweep?
In the film Enemy of the State, Gene Hackman portrays an ultra-paranoid ex-National Security Agency communications expert who has been on the lam for 20 years after escaping from Iran following the revolution there, and his hideout, which he calls “The Jar”, resembles something out of George Orwell’s novel 1984.
Given the secrecy and cloak and dagger manner in which Bill Belichick handles everything, one has to wonder if Belichick has a “Jar” somewhere within the confines of Gillette Stadium where he holds his top secret communications…
…which could be anything from personnel moves to Colonel Sander’s eleven secret herbs and spices – which are safe with him because the enigmatic Head Coach of the New England Patriots wouldn’t say “KFC” even if he had a mouth full of it.
At issue, at least with me and my own subtle sociopathic reasoning, is Belichick’s habit of being less than forthcoming regarding injury status at times, even though his weekly injury report includes half of the roster. Ravens coach John Harbaugh actually explained this phenomenon a few months ago:
“Bill figured it out way before the rest of us did. His injury report is that long. It’s been that way for years,” Harbaugh said, according to the Baltimore Sun, “We tried to do it the other way and be straightforward with our injury report and we got fined for it. So we’re moving on and doing it Bill’s way.”
Also in the interview, Harbaugh stated that he’s going to start listing everything on his injury report “Right down to the last hangnail”.
So the question that arises is, Is the injury report merely an elaborate dodge or is Bill doing his due diligence in reporting anything, no matter how trivial, to satisfy the league mandate while omitting the details? Knowing what we know about Bill Belichick – which isn’t a hell of a lot (go figure) – could it be both?
Yes, it is both and he does it that way to screw with the league offices and the media at the same time. Nothing like being versatile, huh Bill?
Don’t think so? Think back to the morning after the Bills game when Belichick addressed the media via conference call when he was asked about Rob Gronkowski’s broken forearm: “No. I don’t really have anything on that,” Belichick said, surely making inappropriate hand gestures toward the speaker phone, smiling broadly, “Our medical people are looking at all of our players today when they come in and assess their situation, as they always do on Monday. I’ll catch up with them.”
Every person in the civilized world knew that Gronkowski was having surgery at the time of the conference call, but Belichick deflected the question like Schultz from Hogan’s Heros – I know nothing!! Nothing!! We were lucky that he acknowledged that his medical people worked on Mondays, or that they even existed.
Belichick has always exhibited a disdain for the media – and the league, for that matter – but has to respond appropriately as a league mandate. He’d rather not say a word to them, but since he has to, why not give them the business?
So, in the typical Patriots’ fan quest to know the status of defensive End Chandler Jones and his apparent ankle injury, as well as Logan Mankins’ presumed hip injury, we get an injury report that reads, “Questionable/Ankle” and “Questionable/Hip” respectively. We gathered that when we saw Jones sitting on the turf and the trainers wiggling his foot around and when we saw Mankins come limping off the field.
Both were seen walking from the sidelines to the locker room, presumably for x-rays and treatment…and nothing but the vague injury report since. It was as if they fell off the edge of the earth.
Or that Bill keeps them in his jar, where no one can see them, no one can hear them…
But now the two are set to return just in time for the Texans game…or are they? They were spotted at practice, which is a positive sign, but with Bill Belichick calling the shots, things are not always as they seem…