Leading by example, Bill Belichick hits the deck for 10 pushups

Bill Belichick settled a friendly competition between the Patriots and Jaguars on Tuesday by doing pushups, and his players followed suit. Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The most unforgettable moment in Tuesday's joint practice with the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars came at the end.

When the Patriots' third-unit offense worked against the Jaguars' third-string defense in the red zone, the sides made a friendly wager: The unit that lost the matchup would have to hit the deck for 10 pushups.

It came down to the final play, and Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett handed off to running back D.J. Foster, who met some initial resistance at the line of scrimmage before bouncing to the right side and darting into the end zone.

But since there wasn't live tackling, it turned into a judgment call by the coach running the drill, Bill Belichick.

With a smile, Belichick looked to the Jaguars sideline and declared Foster would have been tackled in a live situation, and thus made his team the loser. In doing so, Belichick dropped to the ground and ripped off 10 pushups.

Every Patriots player in the drill followed his lead with no debate. Jaguars defenders celebrated.

It was a notable scene to cap off a productive day of work for both teams, and it said a lot about Belichick. Often intense, he was keeping it light at that moment.

When I explained what unfolded to Michael Lombardi, who served as a special assistant to Belichick's coaching staff in 2014 and 2015 and often writes about leadership in his work for The Ringer, he didn't seem surprised.

One thing that stood out to him was the buy-in from everyone on the third-string offense.

"His ability for players to trust his decision is amazing," Lombardi relayed. "Others would argue, but because trust is so much a part of their culture, they all buy in. Trust is everyone doing what the leader says, including the leader."

Which is why Belichick was first to hit the deck for 10 pushups.