Artistic Bill Belichick: ‘That was no Rembrandt performance’
|09.13.11 at 12:39 am ET|
Maybe spending time on Nantucket has brought a cultural depth to Bill Belichick not previously seen.
Following his team’s 38-24 win over the Dolphins, a game in which his team got 517 passing yards from their quarterback but gave up 390 of their own, the Patriots head coach compared his team to a portrait that is still in the early stages.
But he admitted he’ll gladly take the win on the road but his team has a long ways to go to get where they need or even plan to be come the end of the season.
“Football opening night, a lot of energy, the place was lit up tonight and I thought our guys did a real good job of coming down, being focused, doing their job and trying to block out of a lot of distractions,” Belichick said. “Miami played well, They’ve got a good football team. I just thought our guys made a few more plays. I’m proud of the way they played.
“We’ve got a quick turnaround now. Getting ready for San Diego. We’ll enjoy this for a few minutes but we have to get back to work on those Chargers. Obviously, a lot of big plays in the game.”
Fortunate indeed that the Patriots and Tom Brady were able to connect on plays of 46 yards to Matthew Slater, 30 yards to Aaron Hernandez, 24 to Deion Branch, 23 to Rob Gronkowski and, of course, the first 99-yard play in team history to Wes Welker.
That was good enough to counter the Chad Henne passes of 31 yards to Brandon Marshall, 26 yards to Davone Bess and 25 to Anthony Fasano as the Dolphins threatened to get within one touchdown before a 4th-and-1 stop by the Patriots defense set up the Brady-to-Welker seam of dreams.
“I thought we got good contributions out of all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams,” Belichick said. “Hopefully, we can build on that, improve on it. We certainly have a long way to go. That was no Rembrandt performance but fortunately, it was good enough.”
Funny how the Patriots came up with four big plays on the same week that “A Football Life: Bill Belichick” premieres on the NFL Network. In Part I this Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, Belichick chided his team in 2009 before their 59-0 win over Tennessee for not having a single passing play of over 40 yards or a running play over 20 yards. They still have to work on the second half of that equation but safe to say, the passing game seems A-OK.
No doubt Belichick will be reminding his team this week that if they don’t shore up the defensive side of things and cut down on the big plays, the Patriots might not be quite so lucky against Philip Rivers and the Chargers this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.