For a preseason game where many starters did not play, Patriots coach Bill Belichick sure seemed full of emotion. In fact, The Hoodie showed off a personal record two of them!

Right after snapping at his own team for a botched play before the half, Belichick pivoted quicker than Malcolm Butler to wish longtime WBZ anchor Steve Burton a happy birthday. On live TV! Complete with a hug!

Who would have thought the coach would rack up the first holding call of the season?

If not for the prior intensity we’ve come to know from the paradox of one who’s both an early-morning game film watcher and a late-night Bon Jovi rager, it might be fair to ask if Belichick is mellowing in his senior years.

Perhaps the absence of a frenemy by the name of Tom Brady has allowed Belichick to relax and embrace Brady's eager-to-learn replacement, Mac Jones (which sounds like the name of a country singer). Or maybe it’s the time he’s been spending with the ever-even-keeled Celtics president Brad Stevens (would a Belichick/Stevens podcast best accompany a round of golf, or seven hours of sleep?).

Regardless, Belichick seems to have let his hood down more and more, beginning with the pandemic-presented Draft in 2020, where the coach with eight Super Bowl rings (two as an assistant for the Giants) decided it was finally time to let his dog draft a player or two.

To paraphrase Belichick’s mentor Bill Parcells, “If they’re gonna make you bury the bone, they should also let you shop for the chew toys.”

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