"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:
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.