Patriots

Bill Belichick, Bruce Cassidy exchange pleasantries and support for their respective teams

"Coach (Bruce) Cassidy’s done a great job there. They’ve got a lot of great players."

Bill Belichick donned a Bruins cap at Patriots practice on Friday. Boston Globe

The Bruins’ bandwagon added a few popular names on Friday.

Bill Belichick and his Patriots squad offered their support to the Bruins at Friday’s OTA practice. Belichick spoke highly of the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Islanders in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

“Big congratulations to the Bruins. Heck of a game,” Belichick said at Friday’s press conference while wearing a Bruins cap. “We’re behind them. Go B’s.

“They’ve got a lot of big games coming up. We wish them well. Coach (Bruce) Cassidy’s done a great job there. They’ve got a lot of great players. Love their style of play. Just want to show our support.”

Several players on the team, including Cam Newton, Matthew Slater, and David Andrews, also wore Bruins caps prior to taking the field at Friday’s practice.

Cassidy was appreciative of the support and shared what it’s like to be a part of the Boston coaching fraternity.

“I’ve kept in touch with Bill here and there, during playoff runs for both teams, as well as Brad (Stevens) and Alex (Cora),” Cassidy told reporters Friday. “I heard from all of them after our first-round win. I think it’s great that the teams are rooting for each other.”

In addition to getting support from their professional sports counterparts, Cassidy also thinks that the success of the other teams in town helps to motivate everyone.

“It’s a good sort of competition for each team to have good playoff runs,” Cassidy said. “It forces the other organizations to continue to excel. Obviously, the Patriots have been the team that’s had the most success. We want to follow in their footsteps and raise some banners as well. I think it’s great.”

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Belichick’s support on Friday isn’t the first time he’s shown his Bruins fandom. Prior to Game 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, Belichick was the “Bruins’ Fan Banner Captain,” waving the flag in the stands prior to puck drop. He also attended Bruins games during their run to win the Stanley Cup in 2011.

“I think Bill is a hockey fan,” Cassidy said. “He (waved) the banner here a few years ago during the playoff run against St. Louis. He came in early. We chatted. I really enjoy his company.

“I know he’s got work to do with his team. Nice of him to take time out to lift the Bruins. We appreciate it. Hopefully, we can keep him happy.”

The Bruins resume their playoff series against the Islanders Saturday night, where they look to take a 3-1 lead. As for the Patriots, they’ll hold four more OTA practices next week (June 7-8 and 10-11) before their three mandatory minicamp practices (June 15-17).

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