Bill Belichick's demeanor on the sidelines is enough to identify him as sinister, but his drive to prepare and gain a competitive edge apparently sets his own players on edge.
Several current and former Patriots told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Belichick's frequent and often unexpected quiz sessions delve into the minutiae of the next opponent's game plan, and players who answer incorrectly incur the coach's wrath.
"I would hate to walk by him in a hallway on a Thursday if I was unprepared," said former fullback Heath Evans. "There's no limit to the knowledge Bill expects you to have on an opponent and the craziest part is he has the answers to all of it."
Belichick often asks veterans to verify rookies' answers – and vice versa. Wrong answers bring derisive laughter in the meeting room, as well as a much more unsettling response from Belichick himself.
"It's a chill silence for a few seconds [after a wrong answer]. Bone chilling, at that," said cornerback Kyle Arrington. "If he doesn't move on from there, and he's just looking at you, oh yeah, it's pretty awkward."
With a dark version of quizmaster Alex Trebek waiting for them on the sidelines, it's little surprise the Patriots play so hard on the field.