Did Bill Belichick troll Lane Johnson during Patriots' postgame news conference?

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles met on Sunday for the first time since Super Bowl LII. While the Eagles won that game, bringing the first Super Bowl trophy to Philadelphia, the Patriots emerged victorious on Sunday, beating the Eagles 17-10.

Head coach Bill Belichick is usually all business in his postgame news conferences, regardless of whether the Patriots win or lose, but on Sunday he softened that robot exterior for just a moment.

“It looked like everyone had fun out there today and we played a lot of good energy and it was good to come down here and get a win,” Belichick said.

That’s good to hear about any football team, but it’s also a very un-Belichick thing to say. It’s so unlike Belichick that you have to wonder if it was in response to one of Belichick’s critics, Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson.

In February 2018, just after the Eagles won the Super Bowl, Johnson went on the podcast “Pardon My Take” and aired his grievances with Belichick and the Patriots organization.

Hearing an opposing player call your team a “fear-based organization” is something that will stick with you. It’s not hard to imagine Belichick nursing a grudge for 21 months and then whipping out a subtle burn at his first opportunity.

But if that seems unlikely for the single-minded coach, Belichick could have been reminded of the incident just a few days ago when Johnson was asked if he stands by his previous comments about the Patriots.

No surprise: He still does.

Was Belichick trolling Johnson, or was he giving a genuine answer about his team having fun? Trolling seems extremely likely, but we may never know the real answer.

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