FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick opened his Wednesday afternoon press conference with touching remarks on the recent passing of longtime equipment manager Don Brocher, the longest-tenured employee of the team. Brocher passed away due to complications from a battle with leukemia early Tuesday morning.
The entirety of Belichick's comments are as follows:
"First of all, I'd just say that as a football team, an organization, we're saddened by the loss of Donnie this weekend. In a game where, we all see what kind of changes were made on Monday throughout the league, for somebody to be here 40 years, doing the job that he did for so many owners, coaches, general managers, you name it, players, was really a tribute to his dedication, consistency, dependability, quality of the work that he did. Our thoughts and prayers go out to [Brocher's wife] Laurie and his family, and he's a guy that six months ago when [former Patriots assistant equipment manager] John Hillebrand went to Jacksonville, sat in my office and we talked about how -- he talked about how good he was feeling, how much he was looking forward to a few more years on the job, and then doing some other things he was looking forward to. And then six months later, where we are today. Don was here for the San Francisco game. I don't think anybody really had a sense of the physical and mental toughness he displayed that night just by being here, and doing his job and being here for us in that type of situation. But that was kind of Donnie, he was never one to complain, never one to talk about how he was doing, he was there to help the rest of us, and we'll miss him."
Brocher, who was 60, leaves his wife, Laurie.