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Bill Belichick's best press conference moments as Patriots head coach

Bill Belichick's best press conference moments as Patriots head coach originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Bill Belichick's time with the Patriots will end in a setting where he provided some of his most iconic moments.

Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft took to the podium and announced the head coach's departure on Thursday after 24 seasons. It marks the end of an era in New England that featured six Super Bowl titles, nine Super Bowl appearances and countless -- and oftentimes short -- quotes from the head coach.

Whether it was brief, begrudged answers or 10-minute dissertations about special teams, Belichick's press conferences were a staple of the Patriots for more than two decades. As he heads out of the organization, let's look back at some of his top moments behind the mic:

We're on to Cincinnati

We begin with arguably the most memorable press conference of Belichick's 24 years as head coach. The Patriots started the 2014 season with a 2-2 record and were coming off a miserable Monday Night Football loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The panic in New England was palpable as there were concerns over the offense's struggles and, believe it or not, Tom Brady's future as the Patriots' starting quarterback.

During his press conference after that MNF loss, Belichick famously deflected every question with, "We're on to Cincinnati."

That turned into a rallying cry as the Patriots went on to demolish the undefeated Bengals in Week 5, 43-17. They lost only two games in the remainder of the campaign and won Super Bowl XLIX over the Seattle Seahawks in thrilling fashion.

Seattle

In 2016, a note Belichick wrote to then-President-Elect Donald Trump went public. Trump read the letter aloud at a rally in New Hampshire, leading to Belichick addressing his letter in a press conference.

"I've received a number of inquiries relative to a note that I wrote to Donald on Monday. Our friendship goes back many years," Belichick said. "I think anybody who's spent more than five minutes with me knows I'm not a political person. My comments are not politically motivated. [It's about friendship and loyalty to Donald.]" ...

"To me, friendship and loyalty is just about that," he added. "It's not about political or religious views. I write hundreds of letters and notes every month. It doesn't mean that I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about politics, religion or other subjects. But I have multiple friendships that are important to me, and that's what [the letter to Trump] was about."

From there, Belichick was ready to move on to the Patriots' upcoming matchup vs. the Seattle Seahawks. He answered every follow-up question about the Trump letter with, "Seattle."

Unlike the "On to Cincinnati" mantra, "Seattle" didn't result in a victory as the Patriots fell to the Seahawks at home, 31-24.

Open-Heart Surgery

Tom Brady hurt his hand during practice in the week leading up the the Patriots' 2017 AFC Championship Game vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars. He sustained a gash that required stitches and led many to question whether it would impact his throwing ability.

It didn't. Brady propelled the Patriots to Super Bowl LII with a four-quarter comeback in which he threw for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Crisis averted.

Belichick was asked after the game whether Brady's injury impacted the Patriots' game plan in any way. He answered in vintage Belichick fashion.

"Not that I'm aware of," he said. "... I mean, look, Tom did a great job and he's a tough guy. We all know that, all right? But we're not talking about open-heart surgery here."

Brady's hand injury didn't negatively affect his throwing ability in the Super Bowl either. He threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, but it still wasn't enough to take down the Nick Foles-led Philadelphia Eagles.

Mona Lisa Vito

Belichick held an impromptu press conference in January 2015 to address the Patriots' infamous Deflategate scandal. While denying his team knowingly deflated footballs to gain a competitive advantage over the Indianapolis Colts, Belichick made a hilarious pop culture reference.

"I'm not a scientist. I'm not an expert in footballs. I'm not an expert in football measurements. I'm just telling you what I know," Belichick said. "I would not say that I'm the Mona Lisa Vito of the football world as she was the car expertise area."

Mona Lisa Vito was Marisa Tomei's character in the film "My Cousin Vinny." Tomei won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

Belichick's reference caught everyone off guard and provided some comic relief amidst the bizarre Deflategate situation. It was a perfect Belichick moment that will go down as arguably his greatest press conference moment of all time.

New Year's Resolutions

In 2021, a grumpy Belichick stepped to the podium immediately after a crushing loss to the Buffalo Bills and was asked an unexpected question.

"Hi, football aside, sorry, but I'm doing a story about New Year's Resolutions and I was just wondering if you had any you wanted to share with your fans and our readers," reporter Juliet Pennington asked.

"Yeah, no, not right now," Belichick mumbled. "Maybe next week."

Sure enough, Pennington attended Belichick's press conference the following week and asked the same question.

“It’s New Year’s Eve Day, have you had a chance to consider any New Year’s resolutions since I asked you on Sunday?" she asked the Patriots head coach.

“They would all be personal so they probably wouldn’t mean anything to you anyway,” Belichick answered with a smirk.

While she didn't get the response she hoped for, Pennington's persistence earned the respect of Tom Brady.

“I want to be as brave and courageous as she was, asking that question to coach Belichick after a loss. That’s what I want for the New Year,” Brady said on his "Let's Go!" podcast.

"What happens if Jimmy plays better?"

Tom Brady was handed a four-game suspension to begin the 2016 season for his involvement in the Deflategate scandal. That put Jimmy Garoppolo in the position to start under center until Brady was eligible to return.

Belichick told reporters that Brady would return as the Patriots' starting QB in Week 5 regardless of how the first four weeks of the season went. However, that didn't stop reporters from asking "what if" questions.

One reporter in particular continued to ask Belichick how he'd proceed with the QB position. After the reporter asked, "What happens if Jimmy plays better?" Belichick couldn't contain his frustration.

"Jesus Christ," he muttered.

Belichick has had his fair share of fed-up press conference moments, but this one might take the cake.