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Belichick back at practice after father's funeral

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Nov. 25, 2005) -- Bill Belichick missed two days of practice to attend his father's funeral, but the New England Patriots coach said his absence didn't seem to affect the team.

Belichick, who returned to the practice field, watched videotapes of Tuesday and Wednesday's sessions and said it appeared to be a "normal week of practice."

"Anytime you start to work on a new team and put stuff in and run it against different looks," he said, "some things look OK and other things need to be polished up a little bit."

His father, Steve, died at his Maryland home Saturday night of heart failure at the age of 86. Belichick waited until after last Sunday's 24-17 home victory over the New Orleans Saints to inform the team of his father's death.

Assistant head coach Dante Scarnecchia filled in for Belichick and ran the team's meetings and practices.

Belichick said coming up with a game plan is a "day-to-day process," which leaves him plenty of time to tweak it before Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I've been out of that process for a couple of days," he said. "But again, a lot of the things that we do and change are done within the staff."

New England is visiting Arrowhead Stadium for the second year in a row. Last season, the Patriots beat the Chiefs 27-19 on a Monday night.

"Arrowhead is a tough place to play," Belichick said. "Being able to deal with the hostile crowd, the noise and the conditions out there is always challenging."

Steve Belichick was an assistant coach at Vanderbilt and North Carolina before he took the same job at the Naval Academy in 1956. He stayed there for 33 years and continued living in the Annapolis area after he retired.

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