Adam Thielen isn’t likely to remember the Vikings’ 24-10 loss Sunday at New England because of anything he did statistically — he caught only five passes for 28 yards and a touchdown — but the wide receiver will remember the day for an exchange he had with legendary Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Thielen and Belichick exchanged words after Minnesota running back Latavius Murray gained a yard on a fourth-and-inches play in the fourth quarter. The spot looked very generous and Belichick decided to challenge. The Pats coach got more time to make a decision when defensive back Patrick Chung stayed down because of an injury. Thielen felt Chung was giving his coach more time to consider his options and directed his displeasure toward the Patriots sideline.
Belichick shouted back for Thielen to shut up, adding a word not-fit-for-a-family website in the middle of that.
Bill Belichick tells Adam Thielen to "shut the f*** up" pic.twitter.com/mAi7RUteNG
— Vikings Blogger (@firstandskol) December 3, 2018
Belichick lost the challenge and the Vikings, trailing 24-10 at the time, kept the ball. The drive eventually ended when Kirk Cousins’ pass to Laquon Treadwell on fourth-and-11 resulted in only a 4-yard gain.
“I’ve got to keep my cool,” Thielen said when asked about what happened with Belichick. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him and what he’s done and I can’t lose it like that. I just thought it was interesting timing for a guy to go down when it was a close play that could have been reviewed. For me, I just lost my emotions.
“I thought the play was cheap. I wasn’t directing it toward him, but I just thought the play was cheap. Like I said, I let my emotions get the best of me. It’s a smart football play. If you are in that situation, why not (stay down)? It’s not cheating. There’s no rule against it from a guy going down. I don’t know if he’s hurt or not, he might have been hurt, that’s fine, it is what it is. Just interesting timing for a guy to go down when it’s a close play.”
Thielen said he did not talk to Belichick after the game and said he took no offense to Belichick telling him to be quiet, or something like that.
“It’s football, there are emotions,” said Thielen, who had his second-least productive day of the season. “He can think what he wants to think about me, and it doesn’t really change how I’m going to go play the game. He can hate me all he wants, and I’m still going to be the same person I am and try to go out and do my best. I’m going to try to compete every play.”