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Bill Belichick on the Steelers’ continuity: ‘I could scout for the Steelers’ 10.20.16 at 9:20 am ET
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Oct 16, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin looks on in the game against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-15. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tomlin has been at the controls of the Steelers since 2007. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — When Bill Belichick and Tom Brady talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers, the enormous respect they have for the organization is obvious.

This is the 15th anniversary of New England’s first AFC championship encounter with the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The two franchises have been the most successful in the AFC in the Super Bowl era.

The Steelers have six Super Bowl titles and the Patriots own four.

Since 1995, the two teams have combined for a remarkable run of dominance in the AFC. In that stretch, the Patriots have been to seven Super Bowls and 10 AFC championship games. The Steelers have been to four Super Bowls, winning twice and have made it to the AFC championship eight times.

“They’ve been one of the best for a long time,” Brady said Wednesday. “The history of the Steeler organization with so many great players and teams and championships, you know you’re always going to get a dog fight when you play them.

“I have a lot of respect for them. They play the game the right way. They’re always physical. They’re a tough, physical group and that’s pretty much what comes out of Pittsburgh. They play well, they’re coached well. They’re just a great organization.”

Belichick has an even greater appreciation for what the Rooney family has accomplished, going back to 1975, Belichick’s first year in the NFL. That was the year he was an assistant under Ted Marchibroda in Baltimore. That year, the Colts lost to the powerhouse Steel Curtain in the the AFC divisional round, 21-10, as Andy Russell returned a fumble for a game-changing score.

That was the second of four Vince Lombardi trophies in six years for head coach Chuck Noll and the Steelers, as they built the dynasty that continues today. After Noll, the Steelers have had just two head coaches, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin, a remarkable run of consistency in the organization. Unlike the Bengals, who have had the same head coach for 14 years, the Steelers have actually had playoff success under Cowher and Tomlin, with each head coach winning a Super Bowl.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, Chuck Noll, Mike Tomlin
Tom Brady doesn’t care much for technology, either: ‘I kind of know what I see’ 10.19.16 at 1:32 pm ET
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Tom Brady speaks Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — Tom Brady has even less use for technology during the game than Bill Belichick – at least when it comes to helping him play quarterback.

The Patriots coach explained Tuesday why he is doing away with using Surface tablets during games and just relying on hard copy pictures. Belichick said they’re just not reliable.

Brady said Wednesday that he won’t even look at pictures, relying on his photographic memory.

“I’ve never been too much of picture/tablet – I kind of know what I see,” Brady said. “I see out there and as soon as I come off the field, Josh [McDaniels] will say, ‘What was it?’ and I’ll say, ‘Oh, they did this and this guy dropped.’ I’ll peek at them from time to time with Josh. It’s great for the coaches because they have a different angle. It’s hard to see when you’re seeing from the sideline. When you’re out there playing, a lot of times I can come over and tell Josh, ‘This is what happened and here’s why we did that.’

“Maybe to verify some fronts and stuff like that to make sure of where guys are shaded and identification, because in our system, we always set the scheme of blocking on every play, so we just want to make sure we get it set the right way so that everyone can really be deployed the right way. That’s where the pictures probably help me.”

“I think just to rely on the experience that I’ve done before. Like I said, just the week of practice is very helpful. This week has to be a big week for us because every week it changes. You win the game, you go home and celebrate, and then at some point you shift focus to the next week and you’ve just got to put the same process in in order to try to get the same results. You have to start fresh every week.

“I think the practice reps are really important for me. I love to be out there practicing, seeing what I’m going to get so I can really anticipate and go out there and play with confidence. There’s nothing good that happens when the ball is my hands. I’ve got to get the ball to somebody that can actually do something with it, so that’s part of it for me is identifying who should get it, how quickly they should get it, and then getting the ball out of my hands and into the hands of the receivers or the running backs so they can actually make some yards.”

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Bill Belichick getting his team pumped for Pittsburgh trip: ‘There’s going to be no better place to be Sunday’ at 1:01 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Sometimes Bill Belichick doesn’t need to get his team fired up to get ready for an opponent. And sometimes, like Wednesday, he likes to remind them of why they’re playing in the NFL.

In talking to his team on Wednesday morning, Belichick made the point that, even without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers will be a huge challenge playing in Pittsburgh.

“Coach said it best this morning, ‘If you love football, you love competition, there’s going to be no better place to be Sunday than in Pittsburgh.’ Obviously, a very good football team and very tough at home, in an environment that loves the Pittsburgh Steelers. You probably won’t find many Patriots fans in there Sunday. So, it’ll be a good environment. It’ll definitely be a huge challenge for us, going on the road against this type of team. Looking forward to it, though. It’s what makes you a good football team. You go and learn how to play in those environments.”

The Steelers are 3-0 this season at Heinz Field. This will be New England’s fifth regular-season visit to Heinz, having split the first four. The Patriots, of course, are 2-0 in the playoffs at Heinz, with both wins coming in the AFC championship.

“We’ll find out a lot about ourselves. Coach said earlier today, ‘If you like football, this is the game for you.’ So, we’ll find out. We’re going into a tough environment against a very good football team who’s very well coached. We’ll find out a lot about ourselves, certainly.”

“They are a very, very good team,” Belichick said in setting the early tone for his press conference. “They have a lot of talent and playing at Heinz Field is always a big challenge. That’s a great environment. I’m sure we’ll get a real warm reception there.”

As he was wrapping his press conference, Belichick did play it more to the middle of the road.

“I mean look, wherever the schedule is we actually have to play it,” Belichick said. “So, this week we’re in Heinz Field playing Pittsburgh. That’s where we’re going to be. It’s a great team. It’s a great challenge and we’re going to do our best to be ready for it. But whoever’s there then that’s the one we’ve got to meet that week. That’s where we are this week. I have tremendous respect for the Steelers, their program, their coaching staff, their players, the way they play, the way they compete, so hopefully we can match that and be competitive on Sunday but that’ll be a huge challenge.”

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Brett Favre says he’s got a ‘tremendous amount of respect’ for Bill Belichick 10.18.16 at 4:26 pm ET
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Brett Favre is impressed with Bill Belichick. (Mark Konezny/Getty Images)

Brett Favre is impressed with Bill Belichick. (Mark Konezny/Getty Images)

Outside of Super Bowl XXXI, Brett Favre doesn’t have much of a history with the Patriots. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a sizable measure of respect for what Bill Belichick has accomplished, especially in the last few years.

On his Sirius/XM show Tuesday, the former Green Bay quarterback said he has a “tremendous amount of respect” for what Belichick has done. Favre recalled a story from a couple years ago when the New England coach was down South taking a look at linebacker Jamie Collins when he was a collegian.

“[Bill] came here to Hattiesburg a couple years ago as a special guest for Ray Perkins — who lives here — and I got to introduce Bill and we really got to talk a little bit,” said Favre. “You know, Bill’s always got his guard up it seems, and that’s OK, but he had his guard down and he was actually here for Ray. But he was also looking at Jamie Collins — who I knew real well — and I told him what a spectacular player he is.  I don’t think he listened to me in drafting him, I just think that he already knew that.

“But I really enjoyed visiting with him, you know, in a different light as we know him,” he added. “There’s a tremendous amount of respect that has to go to him, and how he’s just changed the culture there and really has dominated the league for so long. And that’s so hard to do in today’s game. He’s done it the way he wants to do it, year in and year out, and if you don’t buy in you’re gone. And it’s impressive.”

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Microsoft releases statement following Bill Belichick’s remarks on tablets at 4:18 pm ET
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Earlier on Tuesday Bill Belichick voiced his displeasure of the Microsoft tablets NFL teams have been using on the sidelines this season, saying he’s given up on them because they aren’t reliable.

Just a few hours later, Microsoft responded with a statement of their own, defending their product.

The statement reads: We respect Coach Belichick’s decision, but stand behind the reliability of Surface. We continue to receive positive feedback on having Surface devices on the sidelines from coaches, players and team personnel across the league. In the instances where sideline issues are reported in NFL games, we work closely with the NFL to quickly address and resolve.

Belichick says he will go back to using picture print outs like he has in the past.

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Bill Belichick has had it with tablets, wonders where’s urgency from NFL to fix communication issues at 1:02 pm ET
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Oct 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts to a call during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick isn’t always in sync with technology on Patriots sideline. (Stew Milne-USA Today Sports)

From the moment that Bill Belichick was trying to fix his car clock in his own NFL Films documentary, it’s been clear that the head coach and technology don’t always mix.

But the coach gave it his best chance, using tablets on the sidelines to read pictures of plays on the field and make in-game adjustments. That even included video this preseason in an experiment through the NFL.

But now, Belichick has reached his breaking point. No more tablets on the sidelines. Why? They’re just not dependable. He went into great detail Tuesday, spending over five minutes explaining his decision to break with technology.

“As you know, there are multiple communication systems on the sideline. And as you probably noticed, I’m done with the tablets. I’ve given them as much time as I can give them,” Belichick said. “They’re just too undependable for me. I’m going to stick with pictures as several of our other coaches do as well because there’s just not enough consistency in the performance of the tablets. I just can’t take it anymore.”

There was the image of Belichick destroying his tablet during the 16-0 loss to the Bills. But there’s more to it than that. Much more. Belichick was one of thousands on Sunday who was inconvenienced by a breakdown of the internet service at the start of the Bengals game.

What Belichick doesn’t understand is why the NFL limits teams to their ability to work with the equipment during the week to make sure both teams can have good communication with their players and coaches during games.

“The other communication systems involve the press box to the coaches on the field and the coach on the field, the signal-caller to the quarterback-coach signal-calling system. Those fail on a regular basis. They’re very few games that we play, home or away, day, night, cold, hot, preseason, regular season, postseason, doesn’t make any difference, there are very few games where there aren’t issues in some form or fashion with the equipment. Again, there’s a lot of equipment involved, too. There’s headsets in the helmets, there’s the beltpack communication, there’s a hook-up or a connection to internet service or that process and so forth with the coaches in the press box. There’s a number of pieces of equipment. There’s a number of connections. They’re on different frequencies, again not that I know anything about this [technology].
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Read More: A Football Life, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, nfl
Bill Belichick becomes a granddad with addition of Blakely Rose Belichick to the roster at 12:12 pm ET
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Steven Belichick

Steven Belichick

Before taking questions on Tuesday’s weekly conference call, Bill Belichick called an unusual audible with an opening announcement.

There was good reason for it. Belichick had a roster addition to announce.

“We have roster addition to announce this morning. It’s a little different than the usual one, emphasis would be on little,” Belichick teased.

Then he announced that he had become a grandfather as his son Steve and his girlfriend, Jen, welcomed a baby girl into the world early Tuesday morning.

“We can add newborn Blakely Rose to the depth chart,” Belichick said. “She was born this morning to my son Steve and the real MVP, Jen. This is a happy and exciting day for all of us.”

And the measurables on Blakely Rose?

“20 inches, seven pounds,” Belichick said.

Steve Belichick has been on his dad’s staff since 2012 and is in his first season as safeties coach.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Blakely Rose Belichick, New England Patriots, Steve Belichick
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