It took until the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft for the Patriots to make a pick.
And shortly after New England selected safety Kyle Dugger at No. 37, out of unheralded Division 2 school Lenoir-Rhyne, the camera flashed to Bill Belichick’s war room on Nantucket and….
… the Patriots’ head coach wasn’t there.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 24, 2020
In his place was Belichick’s dog, Nike, an Alaskan Klee Kai, co-parented by longtime girlfriend Linda Holliday. Belichick introduced the dog to the world in September of 2018.
“It’s unconditional love,” Belichick told CNBC’s Suzy Welch at the time “You just walk in the door, they love you. They wag their tail, they look at you, they’re happy to see you. It doesn’t make any difference what kind of day you had or what happened or anything else. It’s just unconditional.
“He’s pretty good with his paws,” the coach added.
Nike’s substitution for Belichick quickly caught fire Friday night as sports media outlets tried to make sense of the random appearance by a very good boy.
Bill Belichick looks different pic.twitter.com/iOqFkyAcsz
— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 24, 2020
Following Friday night’s business, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio was asked about Belichick’s decision to put Nike on-camera.
“Bill is awesome,” Caserio told reporters. “He has a very playful side to him. … He probably has more fun than people realize.”