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Bill Belichick Reacts to Andrew Luck's Retirement: 'I Didn't See That'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 22: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the preseason game between the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick appeared to claim during a Monday press conference that he didn't know former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had retired.

"Good player. I didn't see that, but I haven't really followed them," Belichick said when asked about Luck, per Nora Princiotti of the Boston Globe. "We all have to make our decisions. He made his and I respect it."

The Patriots later clarified that Belichick meant he didn't see Luck's retirement coming and that it was unexpected, but that he had in fact heard the news, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.

It would have been a major shock, after all, if Belichick—arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history—was actually unaware of Luck's retirement, which rocked the NFL world over the weekend. The Patriots may be immersed in preparations for the 2019 season, but a superstar quarterback retiring tends to make the rounds quickly.

So when it originally appeared Belichick hadn't heard the news, the jokes went flying online:

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

Bill Belichick‘s last 36 hours, apparently. https://t.co/CCBdy9VneT https://t.co/kuCvBNiIoy

Charlotte Wilder @TheWilderThings

“I haven’t really followed them” — Belichick saying he didn’t see Andrew Luck’s retirement and me pretending I didn’t stalk my ex’s wedding https://t.co/mwdHKyrac8

Cameron DaSilva @camdasilva

The NFL could get an expansion team from Mars and Belichick would be like, "I didn't see that, but I don't follow them. We're onto Week 1."

Kevin Duffy @KevinRDuffy

I mean, this has to be a top 10 Belichick quote of all-time https://t.co/d3Cx2NCiuK

Jimmy Kempski @JimmyKempski

It's more likely that Bill Belichick had Andrew Luck's house bugged and knew Luck was retiring before the Colts did, than it is that he had no idea that Luck had retired.

Andy Behrens @andybehrens

Bill Belichick, after the bombs, fallout encircles the globe: "Both teams have to play in it. Our focus right now is Pittsburgh. Good football team. Nice test for us."

Regardless of the clarification, Belichick's comments did reflect his classic ethos, "We're on to Cincinnati."

In this case, it's on to the New York Giants, who the Patriots face Thursday in the final week of the preseason. The idea is to remain laser-focused on the task at hand and avoid all external distractions.

Belichick, who rarely offers much insight in his obligatory press conferences, was never going to delve in-depth on Luck's retirement. But as expected, the news had made its way to Belichick. He isn't oblivious, after all.