|Bill Belichick on fumbles: ‘We just can’t overcome those, not for very long’||11.26.13 at 11:37 am ET|
Are the Patriots reaching a breaking point with Stevan Ridley and his fumbles?
Bill Belichick wouldn’t mention him by name but the coach continues to send a message with benchings against Carolina (18 snaps) and Denver (final 82 snaps of the game) that he can’t have what Ridley even conceded after Sunday’s game is a “sickening” trend with losing the football.
“Ball security is the paramount issue for your football team every week, our football team every week,” Belichick said.
Another reason Belichick didn’t want to mention Ridley by name was the fact that Ridley wasn’t alone. Yes, his fumble led to the 60-yard TD return by Von Miller. But Tom Brady put the ball on the ground twice and so did Julian Edelman (on one play). In all, the Patriots fumbled six times and were rescued somewhat by the fact Denver fumbled five times.
The Patriots were able to overcome it on Sunday night against a future hall of fame quarterback. But that will surely be the recipe for disaster going forward in the cold weather.
“We fumbled the ball, whatever it was, six times,” Belichick said. “We can’t go on like that. We just can’t. There were multiple situations and multiple things involved and it hurt us the week before in Carolina. We’re just not going to be able to overcome turning the ball over, however you turn it over. Whether it’s fumbles or interceptions or muffed punts or tipped interceptions, whatever it is, fumbled snaps – we just can’t overcome those, not for very long.
You might get it for awhile but in the end, it’s just too big an advantage go give to the other team. We have to take better care of the ball. Obviously they had a hard time taking care of it last night too. There were multiple turnovers throughout the game. Certainly the conditions were part of it but in general we have to do a better job of coaching and playing and securing the ball. That includes everybody, everybody who touches it. It’s not limited to one guy, it’s anybody who touches the ball. That’s the center, the quarterback, the running backs, the receivers, the returners, the holders, the kickers, the snappers – everybody. Everybody that touches the ball, we have to take better care of it.”
|Bill Belichick recalls how Bill Parcells taught him how to manage the winds of change||10.28.13 at 12:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — As the Patriots were facing a third-and-10 at Miami’s 30 yard line with 18 seconds left in the third quarter Sunday, Bill Belichick recalled the 1986 NFC championship game, and a valuable lesson he learned from Bill Parcells.
“I’d say one of the biggest decisions and most critical decisions that I’ve ever been a part of on that was in the 1986 NFC Championship Game against the Redskins,” Belichick recalled Monday in a conference call. “It was a windy day in Giants Stadium. We’ve had many of those and we won the toss and Coach [Bill] Parcells elected to take the wind which wasn’t very common. It wasn’t a very common decision because, let’s face it, you take it in the first quarter you’re not going to have it in the second quarter.
“That was what he decided to do and we were able to really take advantage of that situation against the Redskins. We got three stops and 17 points and we had a 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter in part due to the wind, good defense and good offense helped of course. But the field position was huge and that ended up being the final score of the game. That decision, the initial points and the way that the game started really was a huge part of what was reflected in a huge degree to that decision that Bill made. That was a good lesson for me to learn in my career. It was a great decision by Coach Parcells.”
Sunday was another windy day for Belichick, this time with a 20 MPH breeze out of the north and behind the Patriots for 18 more seconds in a tie game. Belichick decided to call the first of his three second half timeouts after second down so he could be assured of holding the wind for the last two plays of the quarter and a potential go-ahead field goal.
Sure enough, third down was an incomplete pass and Stephen Gostkowski was brought on for the 48-yard field goal that would give the Patriots the lead for good. As it turned out, the incompletion probably saved Belichick another timeout. Gostkowski made it easily and Belichick talked about the decision to use the timeout in great detail Monday.
“We were at that point where we were in field goal range but it was a long field goal and it felt like if we changed ends of the field then that field goal range might not be there as evidenced by when we went for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter going into the wind in a similar field position situation,” Belichick said. “When the clock was running there, we wanted to try to give ourselves a chance. Of course in a close game like that, the game was tied at the time, you hate to waste timeouts because they can be valuable at the end, as we’ve seen many times this year, but I felt like it was worth it to be able to have a better opportunity on the kick. Not saying that Steve couldn’t have made it going the other way, I just think it would have been a harder kick based on the conditions that were out there yesterday. Then we threw the incomplete pass and that might have helped us there, because had we completed the pass and not gotten the first down, then that would have been another situation and decision whether to use another timeout to preserve that but fortunately we didn’t have to do that.
“If we had converted, then obviously we would have then gone into the fourth quarter but it would have been closer to the goal line, at least at the start, if we had picked up the first down and then been able to, even if we got stopped, it would have been a kick that I would have felt better about going that direction. It wasn’t just the direction of the wind, there was also significant crosswind that all the specialists had to deal with. Yeah, of course, back to the first days I remember watching football, playing, watching, being a part of it, the wind conditions are always a factor in the kicking game first and then in the passing game.”
|Patriots re-sign Matt Stankiewitch, Mike Zupancic, undecided on Tom Brady, prepare for Philadelphia||08.05.13 at 10:49 am ET|
FOXBORO — In preparation for joint practices this week in Philadelphia with the Eagles, the Patriots re-signed two players to fill their roster back to 90 players.
Bill Belichick announced Monday before the team’s ninth training camp practice that the team had re-signed center Matt Stankiewitch and long snapper Mike Zupancic.
Stankiewitch played for Penn State from 2008 to 2012, including a redshirt season in 2008. He started two games at left guard in 2009. In 2010, Stankiewitch played in six games before missing the rest of the season due to illness. He was able to remain healthy throughout 2011 and 2012, finishing his career having made 15 career starts at guard and 12 career starts at center.
The Patriots signed him as a rookie free agent on April 28, just after the draft.
A week later, on May 3, the team signed Zupancic as another undrafted free agent. Zupancic was released on Friday before the team brought him back on Monday.
The Patriots held practice Monday morning before preparing to leave for Philadelphia later in the day. Devin McCourty, who was back in a normal jersey for the first time during Saturday’s scrimmage, was back in a non-contact red jersey on Monday.
Three players, receiver Michael Jenkins, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon and defensive back Ras-I Dowling were not spotted on the field at the beginning of practice.
Belichick said the team had not decided yet just how much Tom Brady will quarterback the first unit in Friday night’s preseason opener in Philadelphia.
“We haven’t even had those discussions yet,” Belichick said. “We’ll have those discussions as we get closer to the game.”
Belichick also reflected on his trip to Canton, Ohio, Saturday night for the induction of his former boss and head coach, Bill Parcells into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“It was a great experience. I’ve never been there for that before,” Belichick said, referring to the fact that he has coached several times in the game but never been part of the induction ceremony and the gala that goes with it.
“I’d never been to that part of it. I’ve been through the Hall, although they’ve redone it. It was always great but it’s even better now. They’ve redone it and it’s very – they have some amazing displays. Then we’ve played in the game a couple times or I’ve coached in the game I should say, a couple times but again, you’re there with your team and you’re kind of doing your thing so you’re not really part of that. So this is the first time I’ve ever been through that.”
|Which Patriots should expect a call from the Hall?||08.03.13 at 11:10 pm ET|
The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted the class of 2013 on Saturday night, with Bill Parcells, Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden, Dave Robinson, Warren Sapp and Curley Culp honored in Canton. The most recent round of inductions got us wondering: What members of the Patriots over the last decade-plus could eventually end up being fitted for a yellow jacket? Here are 13 possibilities, with their Patriots careers in parentheses.
Bill Belichick (head coach, 2000-present): Regardless of how his career ends, whenever Belichick decides to retire the hoodie, five rings (three as head coach, two as a coordinator) are certainly enough to land a spot.
Tom Brady (2000-present): At the age of 36, with three Super Bowl titles and two MVPs, Brady is already a no-brainer. Can’t imagine that there would be much debate over his candidacy.
Wes Welker (2007-2012): We wrote this column at the end of the 2012 season, and stand by it: Welker needs another 100 catches and another 1,000 receiving yards, and if he gets it, he’ll be at the center of a great debate when he does decide to hang them up. That would give him almost 900 career receptions and close to 10,000 career receiving yards, which would put him in the heart of a discussion that once included Carter (1,101 catches, 13,899 receiving yards and 130 touchdowns, inducted this year) and now will focus on Andre Reed (951 catches and 13,198 receiving yards and 87 touchdowns, not in) and Tim Brown (1,094 catches, 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns, not in). One thing that would help his candidacy would be at least one ring.
Randy Moss (2007-2010): Moss drew some flak this past January when he said he was the “greatest receiver ever to play,” But he’s not too far off. Moss’s 156 receiving touchdowns are second only to Rice’s 197, and his 15,292 yards are third behind Rice’s 22,895 and Terrell Owens’ 15,934. (For what it’s worth, if Moss could have hitched his wagon to Brady for more than three-plus seasons, he might have been able to catch Rice.) Like many of the guys on this list, his candidacy would be considered truly ironclad if he came away with a ring, and I’m not sure if that’s possible at this stage of his career. But his stats should be more than enough to get him to the Hall. That induction speech will be an all timer.
|After Saturday practice, Bill Belichick travels to Canton for HOF induction for Bill Parcells||at 8:01 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Following the eighth training camp practice Saturday morning, Patriots coach Bill Belichick traveled to Canton, OH to watch his former boss inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Belichick made the trip to see Bill Parcells inducted after spending the early part of their careers together with the New York Giants.
Belichick began his 12-year stint with the Giants alongside head coach Ray Perkins as a defensive assistant and special teams coach before coaching the linebackers in 1980. He was named defensive coordinator in 1985 under head coach Bill Parcells, who had replaced Perkins in 1983.
The Giants won Super Bowls following the 1986 and 1990 seasons. While Belichick is in Canton, he could take a side trip and visit his own defensive game plan from the Giants’ 20–19 upset of the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV, which is in the Hall of Fame.
Belichick and Parcells were reunited in 1996 after he was fired by the Baltimore Ravens, who moved from Cleveland. Parcells hired Belichick as his assistant head coach and defensive backs coach with the Patriots for the 1996 season. The Patriots finished with an 11–5 record, won the AFC championship before losing to the Green Bay Packers at Super Bowl XXXI.
Soon after Super Bowl XXXI, Belichick (and most of the Patriots assistant coaches) went with Parcells to the New York Jets. Belichick served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Jets from 1997 to 1999. When Parcells stepped down as head coach in 1999, he had already arranged with team management to have Belichick succeed him. However, Belichick would be the Jets’ head coach for only one day. When Belichick was introduced as head coach to the media—the day after his hiring was publicized—he turned it into a surprise-resignation announcement. Just under a month later, Belichick was hired as the new coach of the Patriots.
As Belichick arrived in Canton, he posed for a photo with current Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who has beaten him in two Super Bowls. Long-time Giants public relations maven Pat Hanlon captured a picture of Belichick and Coughlin together before Parcells’ official induction.
— pat hanlon (@giantspathanlon) August 3, 2013
On Wednesday, Belichick paid tribute to his one-time mentor.
“He coached four different franchises and was with five different franchises,” Belichick said. “Pretty much every one he came into was not doing well when he got there. Either they were the bottom or close to it. He made them all pretty competitive in a very short amount of time, on several occasions, the first year. Two Super Bowls in New York, and that franchise really wasn’t…hadn’t done a lot in awhile. Great coach, great evaluator, does a great job with his team, whatever capacity it was – when he was the coordinator under Coach [Ray] Perkins, head coach or his other administrative duties at Miami most recently. A lot of respect for Bill, learned a lot from him, glad I had the opportunity to work with him and work for him. Certainly well deserved.
“The Patriots was definitely an example of a team that was pretty much rock bottom when he got here; rejuvenated the franchise. We competed against him in Cleveland but again he made the Patriots very competitive in a short amount of time. Putting them into a strong position, ’96 we won the AFC, we had a good, young football team that came up just a little bit short against Green Bay. I think he certainly deserves the lion’s share of putting that team together and the whole program together during that period of time. We can go on and on but I think all the accolades for Bill are well deserved and I personally value his friendship and have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a football coach slash football person. It’s not just coaching; it’s beyond that with him.”
|Bill Belichick announces Julian Edelman ‘cleared to come off’ PUP||08.01.13 at 3:25 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Julian Edelman was activated Thursday off the physically unable to perform list and is now eligible to begin practicing with the Patriots during training camp.
Edelman, who suffered a broken foot last Dec. 2 against the Dolphins in Miami, began camp on the PUP list and was limited in his activity during the offseason according to Bill Belichick, who made the announcement before the team returned to training camp practice Thursday afternoon.
“He wasn’t able to do much and he hasn’t done anything in camp, other than work individually with the trainers,” Belichick said. “He watches and goes to the meetings but he can’t participate in anything. I certainly don’t think it puts him ahead. We’ve got other guys that are out there working, playing, practicing. He’s got some ground to make up. We’ll see how it goes.
“He’s been cleared to come off PUP so we’ll see.”
As for another receiver – rookie Aaron Dobson, he missed practice on Tuesday before returning to the field on Thursday.
“It’s just like we do with all of the players, take them out there, stretch them, warm them up, get them going and see how it goes,” Belichick said of Dobson’s unspecified injury. “If they’re ready to do more, we’ll put them in more drills. If they’re not, we’ll take them, rehab them and try to get them ready for the next day.”
Belichick also paid tribute to his longtime colleague and mentor in the NFL, Bill Parcells, who enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend in Canton, Ohio.
“He coached four different franchises and was with five different franchises,” Belichick began. “Pretty much every one he came into was not doing well when he got there. Either they were the bottom or close to it. He made them all pretty competitive in a very short amount of time, on several occasions, the first year. Two Super Bowls in New York, and that franchise really wasn’t…hadn’t done a lot in awhile. Great coach, great evaluator, does a great job with his team, whatever capacity it was – when he was the coordinator under Coach [Ray] Perkins, head coach or his other administrative duties at Miami most recently.
“A lot of respect for Bill, learned a lot from him, glad I had the opportunity to work with him and work for him. Certainly well deserved. Patriots was definitely an example of a team that was pretty much rock bottom when he got here; rejuvenated the franchise. We competed against him in Cleveland but again he made the Patriots very competitive in a short amount of time. Putting them into a strong position, ’96 we won the AFC, we had a good, young football team that came up just a little bit short against Green Bay. I think he certainly deserves the lion’s share of putting that team together and the whole program together during that period of time. We can go on and on but I think all the accolades for Bill are well deserved and I personally value his friendship and have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a football coach slash football person. It’s not just coaching; it’s beyond that with him.”
|Bill Parcells: I regret the way things ended up in New England||06.24.13 at 12:25 pm ET|
Bill Parcells said his greatest regret as a coach was the way things ended for him in New England. In an interview with USA Today, Parcells, who coached the Patriots from 1993 until 1996, said he was sorry about the way things ended, calling himself “too headstrong” when it came to his relationship with owner Robert Kraft.
“I regret leaving New England. Had we done things differently … ” said Parcells, who left for the Jets following the Patriots loss in Super Bowl XXXI. “I had a good young team there. I hated to leave that team, because I knew what we could do.
“I was absolutely too headstrong. And he might have been a little headstrong, too. I think both [Robert] Kraft and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently.”
Corbett also spoke with Kraft, who also shared a similar regret about the way things went down.
“At a Super Bowl, Bill was standing there as I approached, and he just said to me, ‘If I had to do it all over again. I would have done things differently.’ And I said, ‘So would I,’” Kraft said. “It would have been pretty special. We were just coming at it from different times. And so much in life is timing. But in the end, we have a great relationship today. I have great respect for him. He did a great deal for our franchise. And I will forever be grateful for that.”
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