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Bill Belichick says his Patriots are like Navy SEALs: ‘On a mission’

FOXBORO — No head coach in the NFL is more fond of the United States military than Bill Belichick [1]. And no coach draws comparisons between the armed services and football than the Patriots head coach.

This is a head coach who is well read in the military and war practices of Ghengis Kahn and Sun Tzu. This is a man whose father Stephen Belichick raised him in Annapolis and cultured him in the ways of the Navy.

Just as recently as Wednesday, Belichick said “you don’t win a war by digging a foxhole.”

So, it came as no surprise when he was at it again on Friday when asked about his state of mind and his team’s preparedness for Sunday against the Texans.

‘€œWhen 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.

‘€œYou practice for [and] 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.

‘€œThere’€™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.

‘€œThat’€™s what makes this a great game.’€

Belichick is coaching in his 45th NFL playoff game on Sunday, and he is as excited for this chance at a Super Bowl [2] run as any previous year.

‘€œI think the team is excited and ready to get into the NFL playoffs this year,’€ Belichick said. ‘€œHopefully 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.

‘€œWe’€™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.’€