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Tuesday, April 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Couch Slouch gets the scoop from Bill Belichick himself

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a master at avoiding answers to questions, couldn’t escape clutches of Couch Slouch. (Stew Milne / Associated Press)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a master at avoiding answers to questions, couldn’t escape clutches of Couch Slouch. (Stew Milne / Associated Press)

As a public service, I usually provide an annual Super Bowl Viewing Guide (for Super Bowl Parties of Six or More). But this year, all of you are on your own – in short, I recommend Cheez-Its, fried squash blossoms and Yuengling – because I procured an exclusive interview with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick’s press conferences are legendary, for their sometimes brief, sometimes irritable answers. But one-on-one, sans hoodie and hubris, he can be engaging, enthralling, entertaining – and expansive.

We chatted on an undisclosed sofa in an undisclosed city on an undisclosed date. Some questions and answers have been edited for space purposes:

Couch Slouch: How much does Tom Brady’s status, with stitches still in his throwing hand, complicate the planning process?

Bill Belichick: I don’t know.

CS: Has the condition of Brady’s hand improved from, say, a week ago?

BB: We gave out the injury report yesterday. We’ll update it today.

CS: What are your expectations in regard to Rob Gronkowski?

BB: That’s what we’re thinking.

CS: At this point, realistically, how much can you get out of Gronk?

BB: You bring players onto the team for what they can do.

CS: Might Brady and Gronk both be a game-time decision?

BB: Today is Friday.

CS: Any regrets about trading away Jimmy Garoppolo?

BB: I’m not a scientist.

CS: Did the three-day government shutdown affect your preparation at all?

BB: Which government?

CS: Would you consider Robert Kraft a friend?

BB: Everybody’s different.

CS: Without getting into schematics and strategy, what distinguishes your special teams?

BB: They’re special.

CS: But that strange onside kick against the Dolphins in Week 14 – what happened there?

BB: They recovered it.

CS: There are a lot more shouts and murmurs out there from the days you first started coaching. What’s your best tack with social media?

BB: SnapFace, InstaChat and all that, I don’t really get those.

CS: When’s the last time you spoke with Donald Trump?

BB: I’m trying to coach a football team.

CS: Are you at all concerned with Tom Brady’s relationship with Alex Guerrero?

BB: The team is excited to play.

CS: You’re probably going to lose both of your coordinators to head-coaching jobs next season. Any thoughts on their ability to focus this week?

BB: I’d like to go out and have a good practice today.

CS: To be truthful, your coaching tree has not been all that fruitful. Any thoughts?

BB: Any questions about the game?

CS: The Eagles are great at disguising their defenses. How do you prep for that?

BB: Whatever team you have, that’s the team you have.

CS: Any pregame routine you’ve learned is best for the Super Bowl? Does music relax you?

BB: No one can build you the bridge in which you, and only you, must cross the river of life.

CS: Your dime package seems very effective, but does it disrupt your base 3-4 mentality defensively?

BB: We’re going to continue to get ready for Philadelphia all the way until game time.

CS: In the offseason, do you ever allow yourself to sit back and think about your legacy?

BB: Brian Hoyer does a great job for us.

CS: Upon reflection, would you say you are a very stable genius?

BB: I would not say that I’m Mona Lisa Vito of the football world as she was in the car-expertise area.

CS: How do you deal with the bevy of distractions the last couple of seasons – Deflategate, the national anthem business, Brady-Guerrero?

BB: We’re on to Cincinnati.

CS: Actually, the Super Bowl is in Minneapolis.

BB: We’re on to Cincinnati.

Ask the Slouch

Q. When newspapers are delivered by truck and the bundles hit the pavement, how is it that your columns survive the ground? (Eddie Vidmar; Cleveland)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Will Bill Belichick hold a news conference to announce his Super Bowl officiating crew or will he simply issue a press release? (William Murray; Chicago)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. If Tom Brady falls in the forest, could you still hear the referee’s whistle for roughing the passer? (Mike Wilsman; Severna Park, Md.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Why are the grammar police not allowed to make arrests of NFL game commentators? (Tom Jessen; Applegate, Calif.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. My wife says that one has to have a very low IQ to read “Ask The Slouch” with pleasure, and that I easily qualify. Do I win? (Byron Bettis; Indianapolis)

A. Pay the man’s wife, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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