|01.30.15 at 4:52 pm ET|
PHOENIX — Bill Belichick‘s respect, love and admiration for his father is well documented. And while he paid respect to his late father Steve again on Friday, the Patriots coach didn’t want to forget about his dad’s better half.
Answering a question of both coaches about how many family members would be on site, Belichick initially said all of his family will be at University of Phoenix Stadium, adding “my personal family, too.”
Pete Carroll offered his answer before Belichick piped up, “I have one correction on that. My 94-year-old mom won’t be here. She’s in Annapolis. I know she’ll be yelling at the TV set all game. But I do miss that she won’t be here.”
Jeannette (Munn) Belichick gave birth to Belichick on April 16, 1952 in Nashville, Tenn. She was the supportive mom featured in the 2009 Bill Belichick documentary “A Football Life” on NFL Network. Jeannette traveled with husband Steve and son Bill to Annapolis, where young Bill was raised and Steve took up shop for 45 years as an assistant coach at Navy.
Later, Belichick and Carroll were asked who was the one person that taught them the most about coaching. Belichick, who had plenty of influences while at Wesleyan University, started at the top of his family tree.
“For me, I’d have to say my dad,” Belichick said. “I’ve had the opportunity to be around a lot of great coaches as an assistant coach, other assistants and, obviously, for a number of great head coaches, and interacted with many others. But, in the end, my dad had a big influence on me.”
As for historical legacies on the line Sunday, neither coach was willing to go down that road Friday.
“With all due respect, for us, whatever we have or haven’t done in the past, the Super Bowls we’ve won, the ones we didn’t win, championships and so forth, really, it’s not about that right now,” Belichick said. “This is about an opportunity for this team at this time to be special this year. Again, whatever did or didn’t happen, we don’t really care now at this point; we care about what happens on Sunday and what we’ll leave as the legacy and what the mark of this team is. That’s the passion that this group of players and coaches have for each other. So it’s really not about anything that has happened. It’s about what’s going to happen Sunday. That’s where we’re at.”
“These are opportunities that come up that you guys kind of put together to see the storyline to it,” added Carroll. “This is really this game, and this opportunity is rare in itself and unique in itself. If there’s reason to look back and say, ‘We did this,’ and, ‘We did that,’ and make connections and storylines for all that, that’s really for you guys to do that. That has nothing to do with what’s going on and it’s not really our focus at all ‘ it’s this great matchup that we have. We have family in, it’s a great time to be together, it’s a great celebration for everyone, and it’s fun for it to be shared so I enjoy them here.”
|01.30.15 at 4:05 pm ET|
On Friday, during a joint press conference with counterpart Pete Carroll, Belichick went even further.
Each coach was asked if there was a quality about the other he wish he or his team had. Belichick admitted that there have been many times this season where his team has played very well in stretches but not consistently for an entire game, something that Belichick believes is crucial to a Patriots win on Sunday.
“I think when I’ve watched Pete’s teams play through the years – most particularly with Seattle - the thing that impresses me the most and the thing that I guess I would like to do a better job of is just the way that his teams play for 60 minutes,” Belichick said. “They play from the opening kickoff to the final whistle or the final gun. They play from the snap of the ball until the whistle blows at the end of the play. They play extremely hard down after down after down, week after week, year after year. They compete relentlessly as well as any team or any organization I’ve ever observed.
“They just compete relentlessly on, not even 60 minutes ‘ it’s even longer, like last week against Green Bay. But it’s from the opening kickoff to the final gun and they’re just never going to let up in any phase of the game: offense, defense, special teams, the receivers, the defensive backs, the linemen, the quarterback. Everybody just competes at such a high level for every single second that they’re out there, and I think that’s a great credit and attribute to Pete and his staff.
The players they brought in there, they’re just relentless in the way that they play. And so I think that any coach wants his team to play that way and I think that Seattle and Pete really are the model for that. They do a better job than anybody. And I’m not saying that there aren’t other teams that are in that category or very close to them, but I put them at the top.” Read the rest of this entry »
|01.30.15 at 3:22 pm ET|
PHOENIX — Bill Belichick isn’t worried about how his substitutions will be handled in light of his four-man offensive line and tackle-eligible formations in the playoffs so far.
There will be a hand signal from Vinovich indicating which player is not eligible, as opposed to a verbal indication, as was the case against the Ravens. However it’s handled Sunday, Belichick isn’t worried.
“Well, I’ll start and say that’s not my job,” Belichick said. “Whatever the officials do, that’s their protocol and their mechanics. Whatever that is, you should direct that, as far as I’m concerned, to the league.”
“I don’t have any problem with the way we expect it to be handled,” Carroll said. “They’ll do a great job and we’re very tuned into it. Bill’s done a job of challenging me with some really unique and innovative ideas in how to move people around. They do have to be on their toes, but they’re ready to do that and they’ll do a great job. I don’t think there’s going to be any issue with that in terms of this game at all.”
|01.30.15 at 2:16 pm ET|
PHOENIX — As a part of his state of the league address on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Deflategate and the ongoing investigation by Ted Wells.
Goodell said the investigation is centered around underinflated footballs used in the AFC championship game and if it was done deliberately. He said Wells and his team are hard at work on investigating the matter and release the findings when it is complete. He said they will do it “thorough” and “fair.”
“We take seriously anything that impacts the integrity of the game,” Goodell said.
“We have made no judgments on these points and will not compromise the investigation by engaging in speculation,” he added.
He added later in the press conference: “We don’t know enough in this investigation to know who is responsible, or even if there is an infraction”
Goodell said it didn’t matter how much of an advantage was gained by the possible use of underinflated footballs. He said rules are rules, also mentioning penalties, fines, suspensions and draft picks as possible measures of discipline.
The commissioner was asked if footballs have ever been tested in the middle of a game before for PSI, like they were at halftime of the AFC title game. He said he didn’t know the answer to that question.
Goodell was also asked about the comments made by Patriots owner Robert Kraft of he and the league owing him an apology if the investigation finds the Patriots did no wrong.
Goodell didn’t directly address the comments, but said the league needed to address the matter.
“This is my job, this is the job of the league,” said Goodell.
He was later asked about him being in a photo with Kraft the night before the AFC championship game and said he was there with sponsors, saying it was not unusual to do such a thing.
He added: “Professionally I have a relationship with [Kraft], and I also admire, respect and think very highly of him.”
|01.30.15 at 2:04 pm ET|
With Tom Brady and the high-powered Patriots offense facing off against Richard Sherman and the Seahawks‘ Legion of Boom defense in just two days, NFL insiders and analysts across the nation are offering their predictions. And to no surprise, they’re almost split on their opinions.
At ESPN, the Pats are a heavy favorite, with nine of 13 experts choosing New England. Merril Hoge, Ron Jawowrski, KC Joyner, Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, Mark Schlereth, Seth Wickersham, Keyshawn Johnson, and Mike Ditka are all leaning toward a Patriots victory. Meanwhile, Eric Allen, Mike Golic, Tom Jackson, and Cris Carter are predicting a Seattle win.
At CBS, the Pats are also favored, but only by a 5-3 majority. Pete Prisco, Jason La Canfora, Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson, and Jamey Eisenberg are predicting the trophy will return to New England, while. Jared Dublin, John Breech and Dave Richard are looking for a repeat victory by Seattle.
SB Nation‘s experts, meanwhile, are leaning toward the Seahawks. Joel Thorman and Matt Ufford are the only two analysts picking the Pats. Ryan Van Bibber, Stephen White, David Fucillo, and Danny Kelly are predicting a Seattle win.
NFL.com‘s experts are also giving an edge to Seattle at an 8-6 margin. Adam Schein, Marc Sessler, Chris Weaseling, Dave Dameshek, Gregg Rosenthal, and Elliot Harrison are predicting a Patriots victory. Meanwhile, Bucky Brooks, Aditi Kinkhabwala, Charley Casserly, Gil Brandt, Kevin Patra, Charles Davis, Brian Billick, and Conor Orr are looking for another Seattle win.
Following are more Super Bowl XLIX predictions from around the country:
Neil Greenberg, Washington Post: Patriots 23, Seahawks 20. “The key for New England will be to keep the pressure off Brady and for him to complete the short passes while getting the ball to their best playmaker, tight end Rob Gronkowski.”
Sean O’Donnell, Bleacher Report: Seahawks 27, Patriots 24. “Both of these teams are extremely well put together, and we should expect a highly intense game that will most likely be decided in the final minute. The nod here goes to the squad that is more likely to force its opponent to play into its strengths, and that team is Seattle.”
|01.30.15 at 1:12 pm ET|
Schefter discussed how the close relationship between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be affected by the Deflategate controversy.
“The majority of fans outside of the New England area, they don’t like the Patriots, they don’t want to believe the Patriots, and they think the Patriots did wrong,” Schefter said. “And you have this public at large that wants to see New England hung for this. And then you’ve got Roger Goodell’s biggest supporter owning that football team. So it leaves Roger Goodell and the NFL in a real no-win situation. … The challenge here may be if there is any evidence to make sure that all sides are satisfied with the outcome of this particular case.”
Last Saturday, coach Bill Belichick held a press conference addressing the controversy and passionately defending his team and organization.
“No. 1, Bill Belichick truly believes that his team did no wrong,” Schefter said. “There may have been something that went on, but I don’t believe that he had any idea that anything happened. I really believe that.”
Added Schefter: “I think [Belichick] wanted to make it very clear that he didn’t know about it and I think No. 2, he wanted to put everything that he had out there defending his team in the strongest manner possible so that they could go to Scottsdale and then say, look, I did two press conferences last week, I answered all these questions, and before the week kicks into high gear, he’s got it out of the way.”
“You can’t go into a game thinking of the enormity of it,” Schefter said. “You can’t think that this game has more significance on our legacy and this season than anything else. … It has a ginormous feel. It feels different, but you can’t approach it that way, you just have approach it like it’s Week 1 or Week 8 or Week 12 or whatever it may be.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
|01.30.15 at 12:35 pm ET|
Putting the controversy aside and looking forward to Sunday’s game, McGinest was not willing to predict a Super Bowl winner.
“Anything could happen, I mean, it’s tough to try to predict,” McGinest said. “Look at all the games that nobody could get right this year. What I’m saying is, this is a heavyweight matchup. I love the way these two teams match up. The two right teams are here.”
Added McGinest: “There’s no excuses [for the Patriots]. The No. 1 thing going into this year from last year is health. They’ve got a lot of guys healthy outside of Jerod Mayo. Pretty much the defense is together and they’re ready to play. Offensively, all hands on deck. When you look at the mentality and the way they’re playing right now, beating teams in a lot of different ways. Whether it’s the ground game against Indianapolis, whether it’s the pass attack, spread offense vs. Baltimore, the defense playing a lot of man — Browner, Revis — they’re taking guys away. … It’s exciting.”
When asked for his response to Deflategate and the Patriots legacy, the three-time Super Bowl champion said that nothing should take away from what the team has accomplished.
“You talk about Deflategate, you break all those scenarios down,” McGinest said. “OK, they took the footballs at halftime, they went on a 28-0 run after that. I mean, I understand that this team knows the rules probably better than any organization in the league, and do they use it to their benefit? Yeah. Do they certain things that are cutting edge or pushing the line? Maybe. But is that the reason for all the Patriots’ success as far as the players, what they put into it and coach Belichick’s success? No, it’s not.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.