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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Less than 24 hours after engaging in one of his longest postgame news conferences in recent memory, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick stepped to the podium Monday inside Gillette Stadium for his typical day-after-game confab with the media.
"OK, well, I don't think there's really too much to add from what we talked about yesterday," he started.
|He didn't really show it in his postgame handshake with Rex Ryan, but Bill Belichick seemed to take some extra satisfaction in beating the Jets.|
Nearly 22 minutes later, he wrapped up an epic and sprawling chatfest that lacked much in the way of hard news but might have confirmed one thing: Belichick sure seems to get a kick out of beating the New York Jets.
He didn't say as much, but it wasn't too hard to read between the lines. For the better part of the past week, the Patriots let the Jets do all the gum-flapping. On Sunday, New England beat its AFC East rivals at their own "ground and pound" game, emerging with a gritty 30-21 triumph that featured the team's best defensive performance of the season.
Just as they are instructed to do, the Patriots avoided fueling the hype last week and didn't exactly thump their chests after the win, either. But the length of Belichick's news conferences spoke volumes.
"It's good to come in here after a win against the Jets," Belichick said in his opening remarks Sunday before launching into an 11-minute postgame Q&A. "It always is."
Sound familiar? You might remember the scene in NFL Films' "Bill Belichick: A Football Life" in which cameras catch Belichick, fresh off a 59-0 thrashing of the Tennessee Titans, watching the end of a Jets' loss on television.
"It doesn't get any better than that -- winning like that and the Jets losing on top of it," Belichick said in the documentary.
Beating New York head to head brings immediate double satisfaction. And while New England's triumph Sunday certainly doesn't erase the pain of a January playoff loss to the Jets that tainted a 14-2 regular-season performance, Belichick and the Patriots certainly enjoyed the moment.
When Belichick stepped to the podium Monday, he made reference to turning the page to Dallas. And he tackled a fair amount of questions about next week's visit from the Cowboys.
But he engaged on all sorts of topics, from why receivers run third-down routes short of the first-down markers to the noise level inside Gillette Stadium to whether he got to drink from the Stanley Cup (for the record, he didn't).
As the news conference crossed the 20-minute mark, a reporter asked whether there was time for one more question. Belichick flashed a little smile and gestured toward Patriots vice president of media relations Stacey James, who noted he was just about to make his familiar call for final questions.
"Perfect," Belichick quipped as the smile grew wider. Then he launched into a detailed answer on the disadvantages of playing a team coming off a bye week.
For the sake of comparison, Belichick held three news conferences and a conference call with the New England media last week. The average length of those sessions was just less than 14 minutes. This past Wednesday featured the largest midweek media horde of the season, and that conference checked in at 13:26, more than eight minutes shorter than Monday's gabfest.
Remember, too, that Monday was hardly the type of day anyone wanted to be stuck inside. With 80-degree temperatures and cloudless skies, it was the sort of magical mid-October New England day that might make a coach consider canceling practice in order to dip his "V Rings" boat into the Nantucket waters one last time.
No, Belichick wasn't missing Monday's film session for the world. Oh sure, the session revealed mistakes to correct and plenty of plays New England left on the field -- ones that could have made Sunday's victory a little easier on the nerves. But any time the Patriots get a chance to break down a win over the Jets, it's time to break out the popcorn.
By the time Belichick talks to reporters again on a conference call Tuesday, the page will be fully turned to Dallas. But if the team has a 24-hour rule for celebrating victories, it sure seems like Belichick was savoring every minute Monday.
Nothing seems to make him as happy as beating the Jets.
Chris Forsberg covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.