|Bill Belichick returns the favor to Doc Rivers: ‘I have a lot of respect for Doc’||12.12.12 at 5:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO — On Tuesday, Doc Rivers expressed his gratitude to Bill Belichick for letting him sit in on an offensive game plan meeting prior to Monday night’s game.
On Wednesday, Belichick essentially said the pleasure was all his.
“It was great to have Doc here,” Belichick said. “I have a lot of respect for Doc and the program the Celtics run. I think he does a tremendous job coaching his team. I really admire the way his teams play, the way his players play. I think he has great leadership from a lot of those guys and has had it through the years. Certainly Kevin [Kevin Garnett] and Paul [Paul Pierce] and guys like that. We’ve learned a lot from watching them.”
Has Belichick ever sat in on pregame Celtics meetings like Rivers did on Monday?
“We talk. We exchange ideas,” Belichick said. “I’m certainly pulling for them and I know they’re pulling for us. We definitely have a rooting interest in it but beyond that, on a professional level, I think there’s certainly a lot that I’ve learned from watching Doc and the Celtics and the way they do a lot of things organizationally and his coaching style and some of the things he’s talked to me about the way he’s handled players and handled different situations and things like that. He’s talked to our team and said a lot of things that really made sense and really hit home. I’ve had an opportunity to talk to his guys a couple times. We have a good relationship. We’ve probably both learned from each other.”
In keeping with the light-hearted NBA theme toward the end of Belichick’s presser Wednesday, he was asked if it would be a good idea to just wave at the coach at the end of the game like they do in the NBA instead of a handshake? Read the rest of this entry »
|Vince Wilfork: Celtics, Patriots have one thing in common: ‘A lot of heart’||05.31.12 at 7:44 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Vince Wilfork is a frequent courtside attendee of Celtics games TD Garden. He has friends and acquaintances on the team.
So, Wednesday night’s loss hurt him just like everyone else in Boston. He was able to put that in the past Thursday morning on the practice fields as Patriots OTAs continued outside Gillette Stadium.
“Absolutely I watched it,” the veteran nose tackle said. “I couldn’t believe we blew a 15-point lead. That’s heartbreaking, but they’re fighting hard. They’re fighting really hard, I still have faith and hopefully we can pull two away at home and get it back to even. [I’m] a big fan and I’m pulling for them.”
He was watching when Rajon Rondo was hit in the head by Dwyane Wade with 1:35 left in overtime and the score tied, 105-105, only to have no foul called.
“Oh man, that’s a fine. Out here that’s a fine,” Wilfork said, half tongue-in-cheek. “I wish them all the luck in the world. They’ve fought through a lot of battles and I’m pretty sure character is going to play a lot going into these next couple of games and how well they can play as a team. [It’s] the same thing we do, how well we play as a team, I think you perform better [when] you trust teammates. I’m pulling for them.”
But besides just cheering for them, Wilfork can’t help but see some admirable qualities in their playoff approach, qualities he likes to think his own team has.
“A lot of heart,” Wilfork said. “We play with a lot of heart and they play with a lot of heart. It’s a tough football team and a tough basketball team but when you surround yourself with good people, good athletes and a good organization, people seem to flock to you. People want to come there and be a part of something that’s good and they have something that’s special. A lot of people wrote them off a long time ago and we’ve been written off around here a lot also, so it really doesn’t matter what people say, it’s all about that locker room.
“That’s what it comes down to – in that locker room, playing for one another and for the team. Hopefully they can get it done. I’ll be there. I’m pulling. I’m a big fan and they have a bunch of fans in my household. Hopefully they can get it done.”
Four months removed from losing the Super Bowl and coming that close in the last two minutes, Wilfork was asked about the effect it has on him, individually, and what kind of effect does it have on the team.
“No effect,” Wilfork said, almost defiantly. “It has no effect on me. You start back from where you started before, from zero. That’s where I’m at now. You really can’t dwell over spoiled milk. Last year was last year, that’s how you have to look at it and keep rolling. You have to be a professional. When it comes down to it you have to be a professional about everything and that plays a big part now. We have to be able to move forward.
“I’ve moved forward and I’m excited to play football. This is my life and this is what I dreamed of doing. I’m back at it, we’re back it and we’re having fun doing it. [I’ve] been running a couple of routes and look good out there. Tom [Brady] gave me a couple of balls, looked pretty good out there.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Bill Belichick on Calvin Johnson: The Real Shaq daddy of receivers||11.24.10 at 11:49 am ET|
FOXBORO — Who says Bill Belichick is only focused on football from July to January?
This week, he dropped a little NBA analogy on everyone when he was asked how difficult it is to cover Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, someone the Patriots corners and safeties will have plenty of eyes on come Thursday.
“He’s never covered. He’s never covered,” Belichick raved. “The play against Green Bay [Oct. 3], there’s 10 seconds left to go in the [first] half, [Charles] Woodson’s on him, the safety’s over the top, they throw it up to him, he goes up for a touchdown and gets it. I mean, it looks like Shaquille O’Neal going up for a rebound against two point guards.”
When Belichick wants to really make a point, he repeats it time and time again. He did exactly that with Johnson, who leads the Lions with 55 catches, 725 yards and the entire NFC with 10 TDs. He trails only Dwayne Bowe, who has 11 for Kansas City.
“He’s never covered. He’s never covered,” he said again. “There’s always an opportunity somewhere. He’s got such a great catching radius. He’s so big that he can catch the ball in such a wide amount of space that if the quarterback puts it where the defender can’t reach it, then this guy’s got great hands, he’s got tremendous ball skills. Yeah, I would say, he’s definitely not covered even when he’s covered. You got to worry about it. And they have a lot of confidence in him and they should. They throw some balls to him that you look at and say, ‘Wow, that’s pretty tight coverage. I don’t know if he should be throwing it there.’ Then he comes up with the catch and you understand why – I don’t want to say the ball is being forced in there – but it’s tight coverage, but it isn’t good enough because he’s got really good ball skills and he’s a big target. He’s an impressive player.”
So, considering Belichick has coached Randy Moss, the question was posed does Johnson remind him of Moss and Brandon Marshall? Read the rest of this entry »
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