October 3, 2023

Playing for Bill Belichick can be an intimidating thought for some NFL players. Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger once went to great lengths to make sure he didn’t end up on Belichick’s bad side.

On The Hartman and Rich O Show on XTRA 1360, Ohrnberger said he woke up late for a team meeting one day. Immediately, Ornberger knew he had a problem.

“You don’t want to be the guy who wanders into a team meeting and gets stared at by Bill Belichick and the rest of the team,” Ornberger said.

After frantically gathering everything he needed for the day, Ornberger shot out the door and into his car, but he still knew he would be late for the meeting. It was at this point that Ohrnberger began to worry about his roster spot, which led to him intentionally rear-ending a church van to create an excuse for himself.

“I have this sinking feeling in my stomach like I’m going to get cut,” Ohrnberger said. “He won’t have me on this football team come tomorrow. What am I going to do? I’m cruising up this slightly sloping hill that brings you to this right I have to go to get to the stadium for the morning meeting.

“I see a church van in front of me that’s backed up. It’s got black smoke coming out of the tailpipe. I’m like, ‘I’m going to hit that car.’ I’m going to back that car up. I’m going to hit that car because I better pay the insurance or rip this guy off a few hundred bucks rather than be embarrassed about being late to that Patriots team meeting. man, who, by the way, was like minutes from his 100th birthday.”

Ohrnberger said he immediately felt bad when the man got out of the van and tried to apologize to him. Eventually, Ohrnberger arrived at the facility and spoke with assistant Bill Belichick, who was none too pleased with him. Ornberger then headed to the offensive line room, and his position coach wasn’t fooled by his charade.

“The first one there was Dante Scarnecchia, my offensive line coach,” Ohrnberger said. “He goes, ‘How’s it going, sprinter?’ I was like, ‘What’s that?’ He says, ‘Are you running a little late this morning?’ I was like, ‘Dante, I’ve been in an accident.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. These things might fly at IBM if you’re one of those geeks who work on computers and stuff. Those things don’t work here. You’ll be on time from now on.””

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.

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