Newsday's Bob Glauber goes the extra yard for the inside scoop on the NFL.
Bill Belichick talks little, says little
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday conference call about Sunday’s game against the Jets was as filled with cliches as the day is long.
“All our division games are important,” he said, in response to a question about the apparent intensity of recent Patriots-Jets matches, “but we can only play one game at a time and this is the next game, so it’s a big game.”
The game is between 3-3 teams that are tied for first place in the AFC East division, but with plenty of personality baggage.
But, concerning the bluster (at least from one side) around his match-ups with Jets coach Red Ryan, Belichick said, “There’s really nothing I can add. You know it as well as I do, so it doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is this week’s game, and that’s all we’re focused on. I’m not really concerned about what did or didn’t happen some other year or some other game. That’s something that we can learn from the experience, maybe, but a lot of different players are playing and the Jets have a different offensive coordinator from the last time we played them. So I don’t really think that has much bearing.”
As clear as a bell, and mumbling through the session as quiet as a mouse, Belichick said his take on Tim Tebow’s potential contribution to the Jets -- a topic already beaten like a dead horse -- hasn’t changed, because “he looks a lot like what we saw last year [with Denver]. He’s tough. He can throw the ball, the deep ball. He’s a poised guy, does what he’s asked to do and does it hard, does it pretty well. I’m sure whatever they ask him to do he’ll do his best at.”
About changes in the Jets roster since last season, Belichick offered that “the Jets are a good defensive football team, they’re a good team in all three areas of the game, have a lot of good players….They use a lot of different personnel combinations.”
Whether his team must work like a dog to counter the possible threat of Tebow in the Wildcat formation, or Tebow as a punt protector who has thrown and run for first downs on fake punts, Belichick submitted that, “Whatever a team does or whatever you think they’re going to do, you have to devote time to prepare for it …They do a lot of things of offense. They do a lot of things on defense, do a lot of things in the game. They’re a challenge to prepare for.”
Tebow’s presence on the punt team “is another thing you have to cover. … It’s kind of like when Brad Smith was there. When that type of player is at that position, it changes the way you approach that formation a little bit, sure.”
So, there it is. In just under eight minutes, Belichick's close-to-the-vest exchanges demonstrated once again that he simultaneously can be stubborn as a mule and wise as an owl.