by Aaron Wilson
July 24, 02013
As former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez appears in court this afternoon for a probable cause hearing in a murder case filed against him, his former coach is about to break his silence.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick is set to hold a press conference this afternoon.
It's unclear if he'll stonewall regarding Hernandez, but it would probably be in the Patriots' best interest and his to get out in front of this issue rather than have it dominate story lines Friday when training camp officially opens for New England.
Although Patriots owner Robert Kraft has already met with a few reporters and said the team was duped, Belichick hasn't spoken yet.
Belichick is known for his taciturn, stern style with the media, so he may dig in his shoes and stick with his usual, "I'll only talk about the players on this team," routine. That wouldn't likely endear him to the media obviously, and it might frustrate Kraft, who wants to turn the page on Hernandez and change the conversation to football.
It will be interesting to see how Belichick handles this unique situation.
By speaking now and likely sticking to a simple narrative expressing disappointment and the need to focus on the upcoming season, Belichick could defuse the issue a bit.
His players will still be constantly asked about Hernandez, at least for a while.
As for Hernandez, his legal situation may be getting worse.
He's a suspect in a double homicide and the Boston Globe reports that law enforcement officials regard their case as getting stronger.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty, but the evidence against him appears fairly daunting.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.