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How ‘The Dynasty’ director approached asking Belichick about Spygate

How ‘The Dynasty’ director approached asking Belichick about Spygate originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

If you’re filming a 10-part documentary about the 21st century New England Patriots, you’ll need to ask some hard questions. Specifically to a man who may not want to answer them.

That was the unenviable task of Matt Hamachek, the director of the Apple TV+ docuseries “The Dynasty,” which chronicles the Patriots’ unprecedented success and eventual fall from grace under former head coach Bill Belichick over 20-plus seasons.

Episodes 3 and 4 of the series were released Friday, with Episode 4 focusing on the Spygate scandal that rocked the team during the 2007 season. Hamachek interviewed several prominent figures about Spygate — which involved the Patriots illegally videotaping signals from the New York Jets’ defensive coaches on the sideline during their Week 1 game in 2007 — but obviously had to broach the issue with Belichick.

So, how did Hamachek approach asking Belichick, a coach notorious for shooting down questions he doesn’t like, about the subject he’d probably least like to discuss? Hamachek joined Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry and Michael Holley on NBC Sports Boston’s The Dynastic Post Show to reveal his strategy, which involved utilizing one of the most candid interviews Belichick gave as Patriots head coach.

🔊 Patriots Talk: Dynastic postgame show – Takeaways from Episodes 3 and 4 | Listen & Subscribe

“By the time I interviewed Bill, I knew that I had the Armen Keteyian interview,” Hamachek said. “I had seen Bill get asked about it enough to know that he was never going to go to the places that he had already gone in the Keteyian interview.”

In May 2008, CBS News’ Armen Keteyian pressed Belichick for nearly 15 minutes in a rare 1-on-1 interview focused on the Spygate scandal. Belichick was surprisingly candid, calling out former Patriots video director Matt Walsh — “For him to talk about game-planning and strategy and play-calling and how he advised coordinators, it’s embarrassing; it’s absurd,” Belichick said of Walsh — and admitting he “made a mistake” by continuing to videotape the sidelines after the NFL sent out a memo in 2006 outlawing the practice.

Hamachek knew he wasn’t going to get more out of Belichick than Keteyian did in 2008 (spoiler: Hamachek was right), so he decided to save his “hard questions” for other touchy subjects.

“I had other things that were going to be difficult that I had to talk to Bill about,” Hamachek said. “I had to ask him about the benching of Malcolm Butler. I had to ask him about things related to his relationship with Tom (Brady) at the end. There were so many other things that I wanted to really dive into. So, because I had the Keteyian interview and I knew that was that I was never going to get better than his response there, I let it go after the first question.”

Here’s hoping Hamachek’s strategy pays off, and that he can get Belichick to open up (relatively) in future episodes about some of the burning questions in the late stages of the Patriots’ dynasty.

You can watch NBC Sports Boston’s full breakdown of the third and fourth episodes of “The Dynasty” below, or on YouTube:

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