(SP) – Bill Belichick may have a gruff and surly reputation, but he also has a charitable heart as evidenced by the years of work he has done taking Cleveland Browns players and turning them into football success stories with the New England Patriots. And today he will be honored by Cleveland officials for his work with the city’s troubled football players.
“Coach Belichick has taken so many of this city’s lost souls and given them something to live for,” said Cleveland mayor Frank G. Jackson, naming today Bill Belichick Day in the city. “Guys like Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo and Dion Lewis, and now Andrew Hawkins, they thought all hope was lost. But then Coach Belichick gave them a chance to start a new life with the Patriots and they became success stories. He has given hope to all Cleveland Browns players that maybe one day they will get to play for the Patriots. And hope gets them through each day.”
Belichick says he began his charity because he made it out of Cleveland and wanted to give back.
“My head coach career started here and I was considered to be a loser,” he said. “But I got another chance and managed to make the best of it. Helping other Browns is my way of paying it forward. These men need help and I want to do what I can to provide it.”
Mayor Jackson then said he hoped Belichick would one days consider taking on “Cleveland’s worst of the worst, our quarterbacks.”
“Even charity has its limits,” the coach said, to laughter in the room. “I have a 6th Round pick as a quarterback, but I can’t work miracles.”