Playing for Bill Belichick can be an intimidating thought for some NFL players. Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger once went to extreme lengths to make sure he did not end up on Belichick's bad side.
"I have this sinking feeling in my stomach like I'm gonna get cut," Ohrnberger said. "He's not going to have me on this football team come tomorrow. What do I do? I'm cruising down this slight sloping hill that brings you to this right that I have to take to get to the stadium for the morning meeting.
"I see a church van in front of me that's all dinged up. It's got the black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. I'm like, 'I'm gonna hit this car.' I'm gonna rear end this car. I'm gonna hit this car because it's better to pay the insurance or peel off this guy a couple hundred bucks than embarrass myself for being late to this Patriots team meeting. I rear end this poor old man, who by the way, was like minutes from being 100 years old."
"First one in there was Dante Scarnecchia, my offensive line coach," Ohrnberger said. "He goes, 'How's it going, speed racer?' I was like, 'What's that?' He says, 'Running a little late this morning?' I was like, 'Dante, I got into an accident.' He's like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah. That stuff may fly at IBM if you're one of those geeks working on the computers and stuff. That stuff doesn't work here. You be on time from now on.'"
While Ohrnberger didn't hit the van hard, he said it was enough to give the Patriots "visual evidence" that he had actually gotten into a slight wreck. He added he later found out that someone did check his car in the parking lot.
However, Belichick's assistant was still "pissed" that he was late.
"And I might be going to hell," he joked.
Ohrnberger went on to play three seasons with the Patriots and spent three more years in the NFL between the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers.