Bill Belichick Gets Brutally Honest on Tuck Rule Game: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

The New England Patriots dynasty was one of a kind, thanks mainly to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Brady retired from the NFL after 22 seasons, and Belichick’s Patriots returned to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus following Brady’s departure.

But, the Tuck Rule Game will be discussed for generations to come, and a recent “30 for 30” documentary on the game was released. It featured many notable names, including Brady, Belichick, and Charles Woodson. In it, Belichick discussed the Tuck Rule play and got brutally honest about the famous turn of events — and one that ignited the Patriots dynasty.

Patriots HC Bill Belichick discusses the Tuck Rule play — and he wasn’t surprised

A number of people involved in that famous game — including Tedy Bruschi and Willie McGinest — discussed the Tuck Rule, saying they had “never heard of it” and “never experienced that.”

However, Belichick knew of this rule and didn’t hold back the truth.

“I knew that play.”

It isn’t a surprise that Belichick knew about the rule. After all, he has been one of the brightest minds in the NFL for decades.

As history shows, that call changed the course of the game. Instead of the Oakland Raiders getting the ball back with a three-point lead and less than two minutes remaining, the Patriots maintained possession.

Brady then led them down the field, and Adam Vinatieri knocked through a game-tying field goal to send it into overtime and would ultimately win the game on a field goal in overtime.

The Patriots would then win the Super Bowl that season as the dynasty began in New England, and everybody wonders what would have changed if the Tuck Rule Game was called differently. Nonetheless, Belichick isn’t worried about the Tuck Rule and shrugged off any importance to it in a hilarious Belichick fashion (h/t Zack Cox of NESN).

“The Tuck Rule, to me, it’s much ado about nothing. … Much ado about nothing.”

Bill Belichick on the Tuck Rule

“Much ado about nothing” indeed, especially since the Patriots went on to form one of the greatest dynasties in the history of sports.

But, there is a reason Belichick knew about this rule — it happened earlier in the season.

The Patriots were involved in a similar situation against the Jets that same season

Patriots HC Bill Belichick got honest on the Tuck Rule Game.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady | Kevin C. Cox/ Robert Klein/Getty Images

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Belichick knew about the Tuck Rule. Oddly enough, that situation happened to the Patriots earlier in the season against the New York Jets.

In Week 2 of the 2021 season — and the game that will be remembered as the time Brady took over — was when the Jets were hit with the tuck rule call, as Belichick stated (h/t Zack Cox of NESN).

“It was really, to me, the exact same play … When I saw the replay and I saw Tom start to bring the ball in, then I immediately knew that. I said, ‘We’re going to get this ball back. He’s tucking the ball in.’ “

Bill Belichick

It was a call that went against the Patriots in that game, and they wound up losing. Then, in the playoffs, the Patriots got the luxury of the call going their way — and the rest is history.

Brady and Belichick went on to have nothing but success in New England, and it all started with the Tuck Rule.

Referee Walt Coleman insisted the call was correct

The referee of that famous game was Walt Coleman, who has stood by that call for years. According to the rule, he insists the call was made correctly and reiterated those feelings.

“It was just a normal tuck rule play where the quarterback has to tuck it back against his body in order for it to become a fumble … It was easy for me. There was no doubt in my mind. There was no question. I mean, I had seen these plays before. … It’s an incomplete pass. It was an incomplete pass when it happened, and it’s an incomplete pass 20 years later.”

Walt Coleman on the Tuck Rule

So, as much controversy as this play receives, the referee and Belichick insist the call was correct. According to the rule, it sure looked like it was.

Of course, Coleman will stay true to his decision in what will end up as one of the most controversial calls in the history of sports, mainly because it sparked a monster Patriots dynasty.

But, Belichick is one of the best in the business and is as honest as it gets, and even he said he knew about the rule. So, take that as you will.

Brady’s words ring true: “A lot of things could have changed based on a couple little milliseconds of a play.”

Things definitely would have been different. Would Brady have ended up as the starter over Drew Bledsoe? Would the Patriots have gone on to win all those Super Bowls?

Nobody knows, but the Tuck Rule Game will always be remembered as a turning point in NFL history.

RELATED: Tom Brady Reveals the Tuck Rule Saved His Starting Job With the New England Patriots: ‘Probably the Backup QB Going Into 2002′