FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick thanked those around the NFL who extended condolences after his mother, Jeannette, died Monday night at age 98, and poignantly reflected on his relationship with her.
"She was a very unselfish person and sacrificed a lot for her family. I appreciate and love her for that and many other things," Belichick said Thursday morning.
"My dad was away a lot on scouting trips, and so I always kind of grew up with her on football weekends at home. We watched hundreds of games together, whether it was Navy games, or listening to them on the radio. ... We became very close and shared those experiences together."
Belichick shared more about Jeannette's influence.
"My mom was really kind of an academic person. She was very good in college, and then after college, she worked for the map service during World War II and translated European maps, because she spoke six languages at that time," he explained, adding that she later learned Croatian.
"She was involved in the translation of maps during the war effort, and then came back and taught languages at Hiram [College] after the war in 1945. Unfortunately, those language skills didn't rub off on her son; one language is really about all I have.
"She encouraged me to do the things that I wanted to do. She was very supportive of those. I wish I could've been better in the field that she was very good at. I tried that for a while, but I just didn't have it, in all honesty. Just un peu of French, and that's about it."
Belichick, whose Patriots visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night (8:20 ET, NBC), led off his Thursday video conference by acknowledging the support he has received across the NFL.
"I just thank everyone who's reached out and expressed their sympathy and condolences for my mom -- especially [Seahawks coach] Pete [Carroll] had some really great words, and [Ravens coach] John Harbaugh. Many others that I know -- friends, football people -- and honestly many people that I've never met or contacted before, so I do really appreciate the support there," he said.
"As an only child, I was especially close to my parents. My mom and I spent a lot of time together, and she was a great woman. I certainly learned pretty much everything from my parents. And then with the love that she gave to her grandkids -- to Amanda, Steve and Brian -- was all just special to me as well. ... She had -- almost 99 years, to a very long and happy life. So she will be with my dad now."