Former Patriots offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger crashed into a ‘church van’ to avoid being cut as a rookie

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Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger overslept during his rookie season in 2009 and was late for a meeting.

But that’s not what he told the Pats. Instead, in fear of being cut off by notoriously strict head coach Bill Belichick, he deliberately got into a car accident, in order to have a better excuse.

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New England Patriots offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger points during an NFL game against the New York Jets in Foxboro, Massachusetts November 22, 2009.
(Damian Strohmeyer/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

“You don’t want to be the guy who walks into a team team meeting and Bill Belichick and the rest of the team are staring at you,” he told the “Hartman and Rich O Show.

“I see a church van in front of me that’s all clogged up, and there’s black smoke coming out of the tailpipe. I’m just like, ‘I’m going to hit that car. car,'” Ohrnberger said, trying to hold back his laughter, “I’m gonna hit that car, ’cause it’s better to pay the insurance or, like, shell out a few hundred bucks to this guy than embarrass myself for being late for that meeting of the Patriots team.”

Ohrnberger said the van driver was “minutes away from turning 100” and then it started raining on both of them.

“The worst thing is if you get pneumonia after I crash your car,” he said.

Rich Ohrnberger of the New England Patriots participates in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on August 11, 2011.

Rich Ohrnberger of the New England Patriots participates in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on August 11, 2011.
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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Although Ohrnberger didn’t hit the van hard, he said it was enough to give the Patriots “visual proof” that he had in fact had a slight wreck. He added that he later discovered that someone had checked his car in the parking lot.

However, Belichick’s assistant was still “pissed” that he was late.

“And I might go to hell,” he joked.

Rich Ohrnberger of the New England Patriots poses for his NFL headshot in 2010.

Rich Ohrnberger of the New England Patriots poses for his NFL headshot in 2010.
(NFL via Getty Images)

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Ohrnberger wasn’t cut, but only played five games for the Pats over a two-year span. He played 13 games with the Arizona Cardinals in 2012, then 24 games with the San Diego Chargers in 2013 and 2014 before retiring.

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