Ex-Patriots OL Rich Ohrnberger admits to intentionally wrecking car as excuse for being late to team meeting

Ex-Patriots OL Rich Ohrnberger admits to intentionally wrecking car as excuse for being late to team meeting

Playing for Bill Belichick can be a daunting thought for some NFL players. Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger once went to extreme lengths to ensure he didn’t get on Belichick’s bad side.

On The Hartman and Rich O Show on XTRA 1360, Ohrnberger said he woke up late for a team meeting one day. Ohrnberger immediately knew he was in trouble.

“You don’t want to be the guy who walks into a team meeting and has Bill Belichick and the rest of the team look at you,” Ohrnberger said.

After frantically gathering everything he needed for the day, Ohrnberger bolted out the door and into the car, but he still knew he was going to be late for the meeting. It was at that moment that Ohrnberger became concerned about his place on the roster, and it led to him intentionally rear-ending a church van to create an excuse for himself.

“I have a sinking feeling in my stomach like I’m going to get cut,” Ohrnberger said. “He’s not going to have me on this football team tomorrow. What am I going to do? I’m cruising down this gently sloping hill that brings you to this right that I have to take to get to the stadium for the morning meeting.

“I see a church van in front of me that’s completely broken. It has black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to hit this car.’ I’m going to rear-end this car. I’m going to hit this car because it’s better to pay the insurance or rip this guy off a couple hundred bucks rather than embarrass myself for being late to this Patriots team meeting. I rear this poor old man, who by the way was like minutes from being 100 years old.”

Ohrnberger said he immediately felt bad when the man got out of the van and tried to apologize to him. Finally, Ohrnberger came to the facility and spoke with Bill Belichick’s assistant, who was not very happy with him. Ohrnberger was then directed to the offensive line room, and his position coach was not fooled by his charade.

“The first one was Dante Scarnecchia, my offensive line coach,” Ohrnberger said. “He says, ‘How’s it going, speed racer?’ I’m like, ‘What is it?’ He says, ‘Are you a little late this morning?’ I’m like, ‘Dante, I’ve been in an accident.’ “Yes, yes, yes. Those things can fly at IBM if you’re one of those geeks who work with computers and stuff. Those things don’t work here. You’ll be on time from now on.”

Ohrnberger went on to play three seasons with the Patriots and spent three more years in the NFL between the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers.

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