Even Bill Belichick needs a break from football, and his break comes now

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick often says that his job beats working for a living. He loves what he does.

But even that has limits, as the grind of NFL football can wear everyone down and getting away from it is critical to recharge batteries and be at one's best for when it counts.

For Belichick, that time is now. He's canceled the team's final practice Thursday and it's time to board an airplane and head on vacation.

"We’ve had a good, busy offseason. It’s never really stopped since being in Arizona [for the Super Bowl]," he said. "We’ve got a lot done. We’ve got a long way to go, but it’ll be good to just be able to get caught up on some personal stuff and obviously relax a little bit. Hopefully that’s what it’ll be."

Such is the life of the NFL head coach. There are no vacations once training camp starts in late July, and time off to truly disconnect is hard to come by from January-June because of draft preparations, free agency and offseason programs.

So this is the window where coaches such as Belichick can, for all intents and purposes, drop off the radar.

Belichick hung around the practice field a bit longer than usual Wednesday, chatting up reporters knowing that we wouldn't see him again until late July. He seemed pleased with what the team accomplished over 12 spring practices, noting that several situations were covered that could help the club in the long run.

He also smiled when asked if he might soon be navigating the waters of Nantucket on his recently renamed and repainted boat, which we'll assume is a "yes."

For those who might have missed it, the boat is now called "VI Rings."