Mills' first meeting with Belichick as a Patriot sounds wild


Former Eagles safety and Super Bowl LII champion Jalen Mills packed his bags for Massachusetts this offseason, signing a surprisingly lucrative four-year deal with the Patriots.

It was bittersweet news for Eagles fans, who will miss Mills' personality (and some of his play) but are likely happy to see a homegrown talent secure a big payday, even if it's with the reviled Patriots.

A big part of fans' connection with Mills was his big energy, and if his first day at the Patriots facility is any indication, Mills isn't changing any time soon.

Mills was taking a tour of the Patriots' cafeteria on Monday, he said during his introductory Zoom press conference, when he finally met Bill Belichick as a member of the organization.

Mills' reaction was hilarious:

"It was kind of crazy. I was talking to the nutrionist in the cafeteria, he was talking to me about the meal plans and how everything goes as far as the food, the diet, all types of different things, and I'm about the walk out of the cafeteria and I just hear, 'Hey, Jalen.' I turned around it's [Belichick]. In my mind I'm saying, 'Okay, this is Coach.' But it really didn't click that it was Coach Belichick.

"He's just talking to me, telling me, 'Happy to have you, glad for you to be here, I'm excited for you to be here,' and I literally turned my back to him and screamed out loud, 'This is Coach Belichick! Excuse my language, but this is f****ng Coach Belichick.' I screamed it loud.

"And then I turned back around and he was still monotone, regular, having a casual conversation when I'm freaking out. I was like, 'My fault coach. And one more thing, I don't want to cut you off or disrespect you, but you're a legend to me and I'm happy to be here.' And he was like, 'Same, man. Happy for you to be here, can't wait to get going and coach you up.'"

That's incredible - and maybe a bit over the top? But that's just Mills, and that's what makes him so likable: he's always himself.

Plus I find it hard to blame Mills, who turns 27 next month, for idolizing a defensive mind like Belichick and losing his mind a little when the two finally met. Belichick has been coaching New England since Mills was six years old!

And Mills explained why he has such a passion for Belichick's coaching style:

"This is a guy who I've been watching before I even started taking football seriously. His defense, the types of players they always have, the types of plays the make, it's all about him putting guys in the right decisions."

Finally meeting someone you respect and admire is a really great feeling, and it's cool that Mills got to have a singular moment like that with Belichick.

It's a shame he's playing for the enemy, and it's a shame he had to leave at all, but Mills was a seventh-round success story for the Birds and helped win a Super Bowl - and now he's having the time of his life up in New England.

Doesn't get much better.

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