For the most part, the press conferences that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gives aren’t worth listening to at all as he’s often gruff, flip and full of two or three word answers. However, every now again, Belichick will open up a little bit and especially when he’s asked to talk about football history, which is one of his favorite subjects.
During his Friday press conference, Belichick had a lot of stories to tell related to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team the Patriots will face Sunday at Heinz Field. One of those stories included him talking about Hall of Fame Steelers linebacker Jack Lambert and it was triggered by the Patriots head coach being asked about his current rookie linebacker Elandon Roberts, who was only a one-year production college player at Houston. After talking about what goes into scouting a one-year production college player, Belichick relayed the story about Lambert and how he became a starter during his time at Kent State
“I guess the one that sticks out the most for me would be Coach [Nick] Saban’s story about [Jack] Lambert, when he at Kent State, speaking of the Steelers,” Belichick started. “You know, how Lambert couldn’t get on the field. He was a backup linebacker and didn’t play. The kid in front of him was really their leader, he was kind of the heat and soul of the Kent State defense, Nick played quarterback on that team and through a series of circumstances, that’s another long story, but we’ll skip through all of that. Anyways, the kid dropped out of school, went to work for Mick Jagger, he was a security guy on tour with the [Rolling] Stones, and Lambert became the starting middle linebacker. He probably would have never played had that not happened, and you know, you have a Hall of Fame player.”
In case you didn’t know already, Bob Bender was the kid in front of Lambert at Kent State who left to become a bodyguard for the Rolling Stones. Lambert spoke about that fortunate opportunity that he got in college several, several years ago in a profile piece that Paul Zimmerman wrote for the July 30, 1984 issue of Sports Illustrated.
“There was some transfer from Buffalo named Bob Bender who was going to be the middle linebacker,” Lambert says. “He was supposed to be the next Dick Butkus or something, but he quit two weeks before the season started, so they threw me in there. They had no choice. It was the greatest break of my life. Right away I loved it. Last time I heard about Bender he was a bodyguard for the Rolling Stones.”
Belichick had a lot of praise for the Steelers organization on Friday. Additionally, he talked quite a bit about the respect that he has for late Steelers Hall of Fame head coach Chuck Noll. If you get a chance, make sure to listen or watch this press conference sometime today as it is one of Belichick’s better ones of all-time.