|Bill Belichick compares Russell Wilson to the Roger Staubach ‘Houdini’ act||01.20.15 at 1:28 pm ET|
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback pulled off an escape act Sunday unlike any other in NFC championship lore. While Wilson was running around the field, especially on the critical two-point conversion in the final two minutes of regulation, Belichick thought back to someone else doing likewise.
“He just knows where people are,” Belichick said. “It looks like he’s going to get tackled and he doesn’t. It kind of reminds of watching [Roger] Staubach. You think he doesn’t see them, but he sees them or somehow he just knows they’re there. He’s got an uncanny sense of awareness of what’s around him ‘ good or bad. I don’t know how you ‘ I can’t really define it. I don’t know how you coach it; it’s just an awareness that all great players have it. All good players have it. I think he just has it at a higher level. It’s really impressive.”
Belichick’s answer was actually sparked by a question comparing Wilson’s mobility to Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
“They’re both pretty strong runners. There’s just something, I can’t really put it into words. Wilson’s just got an instinctiveness,” Belichick said.
Staubach’s elusiveness as a runner initially drew criticism from his head coach Tom Landry in 1971, as he was fighting for the starting job with Craig Morton. It also earned him the “Roger the Dodger” nickname.
“I don’t know. It’s just the way I remember a lot of Staubach’s spectacular running plays where it looked like he was about to get tackled by three or four guys and he would Houdini it out of there somehow,” Belichick said. “Wilson did some of the same things.”
As far as Houdini acts, Sunday’s in Seattle ranks up there with legendary performances in NFL playoff history, right alongside the “Hail Mary” Staubach threw to Drew Pearson in 1975 at the end of a playoff win in Minnesota. Belichick doesn’t have to go back that far for a similar – and unpleasant – personal recollection of Wilson’s escape ability. On Oct. 14, 2012, Belichick’s Patriots led Wilson’s Seahawks, 23-10 with under 10 minutes left. Wilson connected with Braylon Edwards on a touchdown pass with seven minutes left and then hit a fly pattern to Sydney Rice with 1:18 left to post a 24-23 win in Seattle. Will film of that game help?
“Yeah sure, I think there’s some value to it,” Belichick said. “We’ll definitely look at that game, as I’m sure they will. Some things are similar, but it’s a couple years ago and there are a lot of things that have changed. It will be one piece of a big puzzle. We’ll just try to put it all together and see what we can come up with. But yeah, no, we’ll definitely look at that. It’s relevant.”
|Report: Deflategate originated with D’Qwell Jackson interception, Colts notifying NFL||01.19.15 at 11:51 pm ET|
Deflategate has dominated the conversation following the Patriots’ 45-7 win in the AFC championship against the Colts. It was learned earlier on Monday the NFL was looking into the matter, and now we reportedly know where it all originated.
According to Newsday, it all started following Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson’s interception of Tom Brady in the second quarter. Jackson gave the ball to a member of the Colts’ equipment staff who thought the ball was under-inflated. The staff member then told coach Chuck Pagano.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, who was sitting in the press box at Gillette Stadium, was then notified and he contacted NFL director of football operations Mike Kensil. Kensil then notified the officials on the field at halftime. The Patriots went onto score 21 third quarter points on their way to their 38-point romp.
It’s worth noting each team uses their own balls, so the Patriots have their own and the Colts have their own, rotating them when each offense is on the field.
“We would cooperate fully with whatever the league asks us, wants us to do.” Belichick said. “I didn’t know anything about it [until] this morning.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Bill Belichick on D&H: Halftime of Kansas City blowout loss was turning point of season||at 9:20 pm ET|
Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley on Monday for his weekly appearance to look back on the season, and ahead to the Super Bowl against the Seahawks in two weeks. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
The Patriots started the season 2-2, and suffered one of the worst losses in the Tom Brady-Belichick era, 41-14 in Week 4 in Kansas City on Monday Night Football. Even though the team still got blown out, Belichick viewed the game as a turning point as they still competed hard in the second half, despite coming out of the locker room down 17-0.
The team rallied for seven straight wins after the loss, including a 43-17 win at home against the Bengals just six days later.
“I would mainly say we needed to play better and coach better, everybody needed to do a better job,” Belichick said of starting 2-2. “I thought that the halftime of the Kansas City game was a little bit of a turning point for us in the season. In that we were behind, and we certainly didn’t come back to make a game of it, but I thought that we really competed hard and I thought that was a good sign. We went down there and had a lot of good expectations and it was a Monday night game — everybody was ready to go out there and play well against a really good team. We didn’t, we were down at the half. We were on the road, the place was rocking. I thought that we really tried to compete and play hard for all 60 minutes, even at the end when we had no chance to win. I thought that was a good sign from our team that we did that — not that we played well, but we played hard.
“I think at that point we all realized that if we play well and combine that with our physical and mental toughness we could be OK and we certainly saw a good example of that the following game against Cincinnati. It was a short week, we didn’t have time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We were onto Cincinnati in a hurry and had a lot of ground to make up. They were 3-0 coming in here and the guys really responded. They played a good football game. I’d say that’s pretty much what happened.”
There are many storylines surrounding the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl — one of them being Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick coaching against one another, 15 years after Belichick took over for Carroll in New England.
“It’s really fun. Who cares? But it’s really fun,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN in Seattle Monday. “It’s a little bit personal because we were there and it’s a great place and I have great respect for what they have done, the family, what they have pulled off over the years. The Kraft family, they’ve done amazing things, historic things in the league and in the last 15 years or however long it’s been … They’ve been the best of the best and they’ve proven it. So we’re fortunate to get a chance to get to play a team like this and a club like this.”
Belichick was asked about coaching against Carroll on his conference call Monday, and he had nothing but positive things to say about the man he took over for back in 2000. Carroll’s Seahawks beat Belichick and the Patriots 24-23 in Seattle during the 2012 season.
“I think Pete is a great football coach,” Belichick said. “His record speaks for itself. I have a lot of respect for Pete. Pete believes what he believes in. I think that they kind of have their way of doing things, but it works very well. Pete is consistent, he has a consistent message. I think he’s coached pretty much the same type of — same kind of style, similar type of coaching personality and scheme and just the whole thing for many years now. It’s well over 20 years. I’ve coached against him. I’ve known him through competition in the National Football League. In college, when he was at USC you saw more of that and he had tremendous success there.
“Pete is a good friend. I’ve talked with him. I’ve talked with him on many different occasions. I really respect what he does, how he does it. His players play hard, they play well. He has a very resilient team with a lot of energy. I think he has done a tremendous job in Seattle, as he did at [USC]. He’s a really good football coach and they have a really good team. I like Pete, I like him a lot.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Bill Belichick insists Patriots will ‘cooperate fully with whatever the league wants [to know]’ about game balls||at 3:38 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots will cooperate with the NFL investigation to the use of game footballs used in the AFC championship game Sunday night.
Bill Belichick said during a conference call Monday that he wasn’t aware of the investigation by the league until Monday morning.
“We would cooperate fully with whatever the league asks us, wants us to do.” Belichick “I didn’t know anything about it till this morning.”
Asked specifically if he were aware the Patriots were using intentionally deflated balls, Belichick responded with:
“The first I heard about it was this morning. Whatever we need to do to cooperate we’ll do,” said Belichick, who did not indicate whether he had been formally contacted by the league on the matter.
Multiple reports now indicate the NFL is looking into the report of deflated footballs being used in Sunday’s AFC title game.
FOXBORO — Sunday’s 45-7 blowout win over the Colts in the AFC championship may have seemed like another playoff win for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but it was a very historic one.
With the win, Belichick now has earned the most wins postseason in NFL history, as he passed Tom Landry with 21. He also tied Don Shula for the most conference titles in NFL history during the Super Bowl era with six. He and quarterback Tom Brady have now combined to win six conference titles together, the most in NFL history — two ahead of Roger Staubach and Tom Landry.
“That was a great win for our football team today,” Belichick said after the game. “It’s all about the players. They did a tremendous job in all three phases. We made plays in the kicking game: we had a turnover, we had a couple returns. We scored a lot of points offensively; had some turnovers on defense. The players played great, like they have all year. This is really a good group, it’s a hardworking group. They work with each other, they try to help each other get better and I couldn’t be happier for this group of guys.
“This has really been a good team to coach and guys deserve the success that they had there tonight. [I] just can’t say enough about what they did and how well they did. We needed them to play good and step up and play big tonight and they did. We got it from so many guys. That was really the story of the game in my opinion.”
The 45 points scored tied the franchise record for most in a playoff game, tying their output in the 2011 divisional round against the Tim Tebow led Broncos. The 38-point margin of victory was the most in franchise history. The Patriots finished with 177 yards on the ground, which marked the fifth time in the 45 playoff games in franchise history that they have done so.
LeGarrette Blount totaled 148 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns. The 148 yards are the second-most in franchise playoff history, trailing his own 166 yards that he had in last year’s divisional round game against the Colts and Curtis Martin’s 166 yards against Pittsburgh in 1996. Blount is now the Patriots’ all-time postseason rushing touchdown leader, as he now has seven — with all seven coming in the previous two seasons.
|Adam Vinatieri: ‘It starts with Coach [Bill] Belichick, obviously he is a mastermind at getting game plans’||at 12:03 am ET|
FOXBORO — Spending nine seasons with the Patriots, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri knows what winning is like, and what it takes to be successful.
After advancing a round further in each of the last three seasons, the Colts are close, but not quite over the hump of reaching the Super Bowl, as they were blown out, 45-7 in the AFC championship game Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
When asked what the Patriots do to be so successful — reaching their sixth Super Bowl in 14 seasons, and playing in their fourth straight AFC title game, Vinatieri named two people — Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
“Ultimately it starts with Coach Belichick,” said Vinatieri. “Obviously he is a mastermind at getting game plans. Obviously the skill level on that team, they have a lot of great players. A guy like Tom Brady, if you have him as your quarterback you’re going to win a lot of games. Across the board they played exceptionally well offensively and special teams, not only today, but all season long and they have a good team.”
As for the 2-2 start for the Patriots this season, and many people doubting the Patriots and Brady, Vinatieri was never a guy to believe all that.
“When you have a coach like Bill Belichick and a quarterback like Tom Brady it’s never really over,” he said. “They are clearly a very, very good football team. You’re not the No. 1 seed in the AFC by playing bad football all season long, so any team and every team has a hiccup occasionally throughout the course of a season so whatever they were saying early they outgrew that for sure.”
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