Fridays are usually reserved for some last-minute details related to the upcoming opponent, or some in-depth football chats that focus more on history rather than the here and now.
This week was a bit different.
Bill Belichick fielded some questions regarding his relationship with Tom Brady, which obviously stemmed from a recent Boston Globe report indicating there may be some hard feelings in the wake of the coach’s decision to revoke some privileges for Brady’s guru and close friend Alex Guerrero.
On Wednesday, Belichick indicated each year is different when it comes to working with individual players and teams. On Friday he was asked how his relationship with Brady has changed this season.
“Different teams. Different players. I mean, he is great to work with,” Belichick said. “Nobody’s better prepared than Tom. Obviously always ready to go, always on top of it. Really takes coaching well. Got a lot of good ideas. But each year’s different. Our team’s different. Our players are different. Our opponents are different. Every week’s different.”
Later Belichick was asked if the Guerrero situation had changed any working dynamics among the principles, and not surprisingly he was unwilling to address the specifics of the Globe’s account.
“This is another with no sources, right? I’m not gonna get into that because there are none mentioned,” he said.
“Look we have a lot of people that work for our team outside of the team,” he said. “There’s different relationships, different situations with dozens of other people. So I’m not going to go through it case by case on what everybody does and so forth. That would be impossible to do. Not going to do it.”
Belichick was willing to discuss his team’s actual training staff, which includes strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera.
“He’s been great,” Belichick said. “Does a great job. Our team’s in good condition. They’re strong. They’re in condition. Train well. I think he gets the most out of them.”
The focus eventually turned back to football and the Bills, and Belichick took some question on first-year Buffalo boss Sean McDermott.
New blood –Perhaps Belichick greatest strength is his ability to scout and prepare for an opponent, and that includes the coach. But with a new coach like McDermott, that task becomes more difficult.
Belichick was what can be learned by watching film.
“I think just as a composite – a lot of times you don’t know exactly who’s doing what – but you just see what the team does and that’s what you prepare for,” Belichick said. “So, whether it’s a quarterback, an offensive coordinator, a head coach, the offensive line coach in the running game … and take the same people on defense and special teams – coordinators, head coach, specialists, signal caller, key guys. However it all comes out, the bottom line for you is that’s how it comes out.
“So, the inner workings of who actually does what, sets up what, who’s call is it and so forth, doesn’t matter as much to us as what the final result is of what we have to defend or what we have to deal with. So, that’s really what we try to identify is how they play certain situations, what their strategy is or what they’re going to present to us that we have to deal with.
“I think Sean’s done a great job up there, yeah. I mean, absolutely. They play well every week. They’ve had a couple, like we all have, games that haven’t gone the way you want it to go. The team has bounced right back. They’re competitive in all three phases of the game for 60 minutes pretty much every week. They play consistently, they’re tough, they make very few mistakes.”
Eye for an eye –Everyone remembers the ugly incident that took place at the end of the first meeting between the team. Bills rookie corner Tre’Davious White picked off a Tom Brady pass and Rob Gronkowski delivered a late hit to the prone corner, earning a one-game suspension in the process.
One of the storylines this week is the potential for the Bills to seek retribution, but Belichick is more focused on looking ahead than reliving the moment.
“I don’t believe and our team doesn’t believe in living in the past,” he said. “So, we can go back and look at a million things that have happened in every game. That’s not really important to us. What’s important to us is this game and our preparation for this game and our performance in this game. So, that’s what we’re all focused on. That’s what we will be focused on.
“Our concern is about going out there and playing our best. Coaching our best and playing our best, that’s what we’re all focused on. So, that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Young leader –David Andrews is in his first year as a team captain and Belichick was asked about his leadership role on the team.
“Really good,” he began. “He has a natural position of leadership at center. That’s a high-communication position coordinating the offensive line calls or identifying the defense that our opponents are in – the front or who’s who, who’s a linebacker, who’s a defensive lineman, how do we want to treat certain players in different looks. He does a good job in all that communication.
“Then his off-the-field leadership as a captain I think has been very good this year. We’ve had those type of players before, those second-year captains like Devin [McCourty], like Jerod [Mayo] – David’s a third-year captain – Duron [Harmon], again, kind of a younger captain. It’s a little different for those guys. But you see those guys grow, and in time, I’m sure they will become like what many of our more experienced captains have become. David does a good job. He connects well with all the players – offense, defense, linemen, backs, coaching staff. He gets along well with everybody, and that’s a good quality to have.”