FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bill Belichick arrived at the podium for his Friday news conference at Gillette Stadium and shared his thoughts on what he’s seen from players and coaches in recent days.
“I think the team is excited and ready to get into the NFL playoffs this year,” he said, after noting that preparations for Sunday’s game against the Texans are now winding down. “Hopefully we’ll have a good day of preparation today and use the next 48 hours or so to get totally focused on the task at hand, and go out there and be ready to play well on Sunday afternoon. I think that’s where we are.
“We’re all excited to get going. It’s a great opportunity, a good football team coming in here. We know we’re going to have to play well, play our best game to win. But that’s the way it should be at this time of year. Hopefully we can do it.”
If there was one takeaway from the news conference from this perspective – and it’s something that will be touched upon in a longer piece today – it’s that Belichick’s fire for this moment and the title chase still burns.
Belichick has been part of 44 playoff games over his 38-year NFL coaching career, and he touched on how this is what the team has put in all its work for – going all the way back to the offseason.
At one point, Belichick made a comparison to the Navy SEALs when talking about preparation for the playoffs.
“When you talk to the Navy SEALs and those guys about when they go on a mission, [they say] ‘We get there and we had practiced going over a 6-foot wall [but] the wall is 30-feet high.’ That’s the way it is in the NFL.
“You practice for … you think you’re going to swim across a 200-yard lake and the lake is 800 yards. You have to get across it.
“You get in an NFL game and think you’re going to get this, and you get that. You think they’re going to play this guy and they play some other guy. You face new challenges. That’s part of the gamesmanship and part of the competition. You figure out which team can do it better than the other one.
“There’s always that unknown in the game. Things happen that you just can’t predict or you prepare for because they’re working on things and we don’t know what they’re doing. There will be something that will cause us to make an adjustment. I’m sure we’ll do the same thing to them somewhere along the line. Everybody has to figure it out and make the best of it.
“That’s what makes this a great game.”