The highest compliment Bill Belichick can give a player is “He gets it.” Yesterday afternoon Bill Belichick got it.

Faced with having to address the Aaron Hernandez murder charge for the first time since the tight end was led away from his $1.3 million North Attleboro mansion in handcuffs Belichick did not mumble. He did not stumble. He did not shirk and he did not smirk.

What he did was speak forthrightly about his disappointment and sadness over the death of Odin Lloyd a 27-year-old Dorchester man whose football dreams were never to be realized.

“It’s a sad day really a sad day on so many levels” Belichick said during a seven-minute opening statement at a packed Gillette Stadium press conference. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim and I extend my sympathy really to everyone who has been impacted. A young man lost his life. His family has suffered a tragic loss and there’s no way to understate that.

“… Having someone in your organization that’s involved in a murder investigation is a terrible thing. … As the coach of the team I’m primarily responsible for the people that we bring into the football operation.”

Belichick said he was deeply troubled by the connection of one of his players to a murder and he took responsibility for bringing him into our community. What more is there to say?

He was not responsible for the actions of that player. But he was responsible for bringing Hernandez here even though he flunked a psychological test designed to ferret out maturity issues short fuses and as one report said a penchant for “living on the edge.”

Belichick had invested considerable time and effort in Hernandez not to mention $40 million of his owner’s money. That gamble was lost and so was the life of Odin Lloyd.

Belichick defended as best he could the process used to evaluate Hernandez conceding it was “far from perfect but it’s one that we’ve used from 2000 until today. Unfortunately this most recent situation with the charges involved is not a good one on that record.”

He said he and the organization would learn from “this terrible experience.”