Bill Belichick had Jabrill Peppers' back after Peppers' about the Patriots to Saquon Barkley were turned into public consumption. On Thursday night, it was Peppers who came to his coach's defense after the Patriots upset the Steelers.
Peppers, who had a big interception late in the first half that led to the Patriots' game-winning touchdown, spoke glowingly of Belichick after New England's 21-18 win. The win was just its third of the season, as criticism continues to mount on the outside.
"We needed this," Peppers said, via ESPN. "I just feel good we could get it done for Bill and the rest of the coaches. They work extremely hard trying to put us in the right places to make plays, and we did enough to get the win tonight."
Peppers was then specifically asked about Belichick, who continues to face rumors about his future in New England.
"I don't really like all the flak he's been getting," Peppers said, "because it's on us as players to go out there and execute. I personally feel like the game plan has been phenomenal week in and week out, and we've had the opportunities to make the plays and we didn't make them. But we made enough tonight. So we're going to correct this tape, get our bodies back and move onto K.C."
While notoriously known for his gruff demeanor, it's clear that there's a side of Belichick that not many on the outside get to see. Belichick has clearly made an impact on Peppers, who was motivated to help his coach get a win on Thursday night.
Belichick made a point to laud the efforts of his team during his postgame press conference. The future Hall of Fame coach appreciated the level of work his players and coaching staff put in on a short week following a disappointing loss to the Chargers last Sunday.
"Thought the guys played with a lot of effort, energy, toughness," Belichick said after the win. "Our guys really stepped up and had a lot of guys come through and make some big plays that we needed. Happy for our team, happy for our coaches. ... It's very satisfying to see the results that we had today."