FOXBORO — Even Bill Belichick  can get anxious to get back on the field after a week off thanks to the NFL schedule-makers.
“Seems like a month since we’ve played,” the Patriots coach admitted Friday morning. “I think everybody is excited to get back out there and get going. We have a lot of challenges here with Buffalo in all three phases of the game as a team. Hopefully we’re ready to meet those and get back out on the field and start playing again. We’ve had a lot of practice time, a lot of film time, a lot of meeting time but like I said, I think we’re excited and ready to get back out there and go. It can’t get here soon enough.”
Belichick was asked if he felt the Patriots were further ahead this week because of the extra day of practice on Tuesday. Belichick hedged, saying the Bills give the Pats  more to prepare for because of their explosive offense and special teams.
“Maybe a little bit but they give you a lot to get ready for,” Belichick said. “We could probably take a month to get ready for Buffalo and still be working on something.”
What about his players? Are they extra juiced?
“I think we try to, as I said last week [for] St. Louis, I think we try to work back so we have the same schedule at the end of the week leading up to the game,” Belichick said. “So Sunday is Sunday, Saturday is Saturday, Friday is Friday, Thursday is Thursday, whether it’s a short week or a long week, at the other end of it, the days leading up to the game are consistent. So the player can get into, regardless of what happens the first or second or first four days, the last four, three, two, one days are pretty consistent for their routine so they can get into that routine leading up the game.
“I’m saying I think those days leading up to the game are pretty consistent whether it’s a Monday night game where you have an extra day or it’s a Sunday game after a Monday night game where you’re short a day. Those days at the end are kind of the same, pretty much the same, so that the player can get into that same routine so he can be at the same point weekly. It’s not one week it all peaks and then the next week you’re on the down slope and the next week it peaks. You try to have it hit that crest every game. I mean, the team’s emotional and personally is each guy the same the exact emotional state every week? I don’t know but the idea is to get to the highest point possible at that time and it’s by sequencing the final days to try to facilitate that. That’s the best way I can put it I guess.”
Here is the rest of Friday’s Q and A with reporters:
Q: With Visanthe Shiancoe maybe getting close here at tight end, what would you classify him as ‘ is he a combination guy who is effective in both blocking and receiving roles? Or is he more of just one?
BB: I think when you look back at his career he’s done both. I don’t know, we’ve had him but not for very much time and no games so we’ll see how it goes in our offense if we’re able to get that point, I don’t know.
Q: What about Daniel Fells? What has he brought to the team this year?
BB: He’s an experienced guy; smart player, understands all the different tight end positions and roles. He’s got good size, can catch well. I think he also can play in the running game, play in the passing game; has good experience.
Q: Play-action wise, is this team up there with other teams you have had in terms of effectiveness?
BB: I think the play-action passing is all hinged around the running game. If the defense feels like it has to commit to the run, be more aggressive against the run, then that helps the passing game. So, those two things kind of go hand in hand. The better you can run it, probably the better you can play action it. The worse you run it, probably the less pull play action has. I think those two areas complement each together.
Q: Is that something you can just turn on if you do not start the year with that mindset?
BB: I think it’s like anything else, if you find something during the season that you feel like gives you an advantage or something that can help you, then you commit more time to it and try to improve on it. If it’s not something that you have a lot of, scheme for example, in your offense, you expand it on a basis that you feel comfortable expanding it. Sometimes that changes from game to game. So, if you wind up getting into the game and your running game is going well, then you probably have to call more play action passes and vice versa. Regardless of whether it’s our team or any team, I think it’s just whatever plays you have complement other plays that if one is going then the complementary plays should have a chance to work.
Q: Four practices is obviously not normal now with the structure of the weeks. What was it like back with the Giants ? Did you practice four or five times a week then or is it similar to the routine now?
BB: I’d say it’s been pretty much the same since I’ve come into the league, which probably is pretty much the same as it was with Paul Brown, who changed the’¦most everything that Paul Brown did is what I would say most professional teams do now 60-some years later, however many years it’s been. A lot of teams gave their players off Monday, brought them in Tuesday; some teams brought them in Monday, gave them off Tuesday but Wednesday was kind of the first day. Some teams, like Dallas I think, Coach [Tom] Landry  was big on having an offense-defense day. One day was offense, the other day was defense and Friday was kind of a review day. Some teams split it up. I think most teams split it up now. Regardless, it’s still the same number of plays however you end up doing it. We did a little bit of that in Denver, where Wednesday was more of an offensive day, Thursday was more of a defense day, that type of thing. In the end, it’s the same number of plays. Friday is Friday, Saturday is Saturday, Sunday is Sunday. The thing you really didn’t have when I came into the league is all the different games we have now ‘ Thursday night, Saturday night, Mondays, Sunday night games. You played Sunday at 1 or Sunday at 4 other than one time a year you might be on Monday Night Football  and that was it. Unless, Detroit we had a Thanksgiving game but that was really it. Now, everybody has midweek games, Saturday games, Monday games.
Q: When do you start planning out your schedule? Obviously it is week to week, but do you look ahead at your schedule and see things you need to keep in mind?
BB: At times there are things that pop up but I’d say for the most part we’re pretty much week to week. There are some decisions that we have to make for a bye week or a London week or a Monday night game: when we’re going to the bring the players in, if we get back late on a trip, whether we’re going to do it the normal time or push it back, how that’s going to go. But I’d say for the most part we try to make the decisions week to week based on what we feel like is the most important thing for that particular week. For me to say what the team is going to need in the middle of December, I don’t know. If we need to practice, we’ll practice. If we need to rest, we’ll rest. If we need to spend more time on the goal line, we’ll spend more time on the goal line. If we need to spend more time on two-minute, we’ll spend more time on two-minute. I don’t really know.