ATLANTA — Bill Belichick received some interesting, if not off-beat questions during his Tuesday news conference and one pertinent one about his future.
As is the Belichick way, he dismissed it and said he’s only thinking about facing the Rams on Sunday in Super Bowl LIII.
The future of several Patriots has been a topic this week.
Tom Brady, 41, said he plans to play next season and hopes to play until he’s 45 years old. There’s been rampant speculation that Rob Gronkowski will be playing his final game Sunday. He’s not saying whether he will or won’t be. Veteran defensive back Devin McCourty said if he wins the Super Bowl with his twin brother Jason he might call it a career.
Then it was Belichick’s turn to address his future Tuesday, or not address it.
“Right now I‘m really just focused on trying to help our team do the best job I can to prepare our team for the Rams,” he said. “I’m not going to really worry about anything else besides that. As far as the future goes, the future for me is Sunday night against the Rams.”
Belichick, 66, is arguably the greatest coach of all time. He has won five Super Bowls as a head coach and two more as the Giants defensive coordinator. Belichick has the Patriots playing in their third straight Super Bowl and fourth in five years.
The reporter who asked Belichick to pledge that he would coach several more years was from China, where he said 29 million of the 30 million NFL fans in his country were Patriots’ fans. Belichick got a chuckle out of that.
Belichick was also asked if he would take a selfie with a radio reporter— (he didn’t) — and to comment on the weather— (he didn’t). He made everything about the Patriots, the Rams and Sunday’s game.
“The Rams are extremely well coached, well prepared, they have great players, great staff,” Belichick said. “They’ve pretty much led wire-to-wire and there were a lot of expectations for them to do that. We’ll be ready to compete Sunday night against a great football team. I have a ton of respect for what they’ve done and the way they’ve done it.”
Belichick also had the opportunity to declare Brady — his quarterback throughout these Super Bowl runs — the greatest of all time Tuesday when he was asked to settle that debate. Belichick intimated he feels that way, but wouldn’t come right out and say it.
“He’s a great quarterback,” Belichick said. “I’d certainly put him up there against anybody. I don’t really feel like it’s my job to rate people. He’s a great player, He’s been a great player for the New England Patriots. Certainly his record is unmatched. I’m glad he’s my quarterback.”