‘It’s one of the top efforts I’ve seen’: Bill Belichick had special praise for Marcus Cannon

Belichick said Cannon "just barely had enough strength to put on his uniform."

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to the media following an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Bill Belichick had special praise for Marcus Cannon after the Patriots' win over the Cowboys. –AP Photo/Elise Amendola

It’s not often that Bill Belichick gives a specific shoutout to a player in his postgame press conference, but the Patriots’ coach made an exception after Sunday’s 13-9 win over the Cowboys.

At the end of his postgame remarks, Belichick took time to add some prolonged praise of right tackle Marcus Cannon.

“I’d say one final thing in closing that one of the real top efforts today would have to go to Marcus Cannon,” said Belichick.

According to the Patriots’ coach, Cannon had been sick for three days leading up to the game.

“I honestly didn’t expect him to play today and we talked before the game and he felt like he’d be able to work through it,” Belichick continued. “So we tried to help him out a bit there at the half, but I’d say overall it’s one of the top efforts I’ve seen for a guy that just barely had enough strength to put on his uniform went out there and played against multiple good football players, but certainly with [DeMarcus] Lawrence.”

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Cannon was tasked with blocking Lawrence, Dallas’s two-time Pro Bowl defensive end. While his performance wasn’t perfect, Cannon was able to prevent the talented Cowboys pass-rusher from sacking Tom Brady.

“I thought he played very, very competitively, played tough, and that’s the kind of leadership and toughness that we have on this team,” Belichick added. “So that was a great job by Marcus.”

Belichick also singled out the punt block from Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater in the first quarter. The block from Slater resulted in a major field position swing, as New England took over on offense at the Cowboys’ 12-yard line.

The Patriots capitalized within two plays, scoring the team’s only touchdown of the day on a Tom Brady touchdown pass to rookie receiver N’Keal Harry.

“Probably the difference in the game when you come right down to it,” Belichick said of Slater’s block. “I thought that Joe Judge and Cam [Achord], we had a real aggressive approach in the kicking game today. We we’re trying to challenge the ball-handling, and I thought we did a good job of that, forced some tough catches with their specialists. And the blocked point was obviously a huge field position play. It enabled us to play from ahead, and that was a good thing.”

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