Spotlight: Belichick's approach

January, 30, 2012
1/30/12
1:45
PM ET
There is a lot happening from a media perspective when it comes to coverage of Super Bowl XLVI. Keeping up with it all can be intense.

With this in mind, I'm going to pick one topic per day to "spotlight" and the choice will be based on the most interesting thing I heard from coaches or players.

Bill Belichick's tone-setting drew notice from players, who were asked about it after Belichick's fourth-and-2 joke at his news conference on Sunday night.

"He’s encouraged us to enjoy the moment and realize that opportunities like this don’t come around often. Maybe once a career, if you’re lucky," veteran guard Brian Waters relayed. "So I think we all need to enjoy it, realizing that there’s no guarantee we’ll be back here, but at the same time realizing that we have a job to do."

Belichick figures to shift into a more serious mode by the end of the week, as Super Bowl XLVI nears. But from this perspective, Belichick's willingness to lighten up, and open up a part of himself like he did Sunday, reflects his confidence in the team he's assembled.

After Monday, the Patriots will have had 108 practices since training camp opened. A lot of work has been put into this year and the foundation has been established. While there will be some specific wrinkles for Super Bowl XLVI, Belichick probably knows that "it is what is" when it comes to this team and it's a mentally tough group that he can feel good about bringing into this environment.

So why not let the sense of humor come out early in the week?

"He’s surprisingly funny," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "That’s just another element to the man that you love about him, and I know the thing that makes you enjoy playing for him. He keeps that sense of humor. He keeps you on your toes. I love that about him."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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