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Bill Belichick asks: ‘What more could [Adam Vinatieri] do’ to get into the Hall of Fame? 11.16.12 at 2:33 pm ET
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Adam Vinatieri kicks the game-tying field goal in the snow against the Raiders, considered by many the biggest kick in NFL history. (AP)

FOXBORO — Leave it to Bill Belichick to answer a highly-debated question with several of his own. Such was the case Friday when he was asked if Adam Vinatieri – and all of his huge kicks – deserves a bust in Canton when he finally hangs up the cleats.

“He’s certainly one of the greatest kickers I’ve ever seen since I’ve been in the league – the longevity, the production, the performance in championships and big games,” Belichick said. “What more could he do? Go out there and play wide receiver and catch a bunch of passes? Is that what he needs to do? I don’t know. What more could he do? I don’t know what more Dave Jennings could have done at his position or Ray Guy or guys like that. What else would they have had to do? Get a bunch of interceptions? We don’t judge quarterbacks on their rushing yardage.

“We don’t judge them on how many tackles they made. I don’t know if we even judge them on how many games they win. We judge them on a lot of their quarterback rating and stats and running backs on rushing yardage. What does a guy have to do if he excels at his position? Is that good enough? I don’t know. Like I said, you’d have to ask somebody that knows a lot more about it than I do because I don’t understand what the criteria is.”

He left after the 2005 season and has been in Indianapolis ever since.

“I know it’s been a while,” Belichick said. “I’ve been fortunate to have two good kickers here, two real good kickers.”

Vinatieri is still making big kicks, including a game-winning 50-yarder with eight seconds left in regulation against Minnesota on Sept. 16 in a 23-20 Colts win.

“That was a big kick Adam made in overtime at the end of the [Minnesota] game, the 50-yarder,” Belichick said. “That was a big kick. I’ve seen him make a lot of those.”

At this point, only Jan Stenerud is the only “pure” placekicker in the Hall of Fame. George Blanda made it but he was a quarterback for the great Raiders teams of the 60s and early 70s. Lou Groza is in but he was also an offensive tackle. And perhaps most egregious, Ray Guy does not have a bust in Canton.

So, with what Vinatieri has accomplished, he’s a slam dunk to become the second place-kicker in the Hall, right?

“I think that’s a good question,” Belichick began. “I don’t know what Hall of Fame means. There are guys who have great, long careers. There are other guys with very short careers in the Hall of Fame; from championship teams, there are guys that never or hardly ever played on winning teams. There are guys with personal stats, there are guys with I’d say less personal stats but maybe more championships or more longevity. I don’t know what the criteria is for the Hall of Fame, I’m not in any position to be honest with you. That’s something you’d have to ask the Hall of Fame committee or voters or something like that, because I don’t really know what the criteria is. I don’t know if it’s ever been defined. I don’t know if it’s a popularity contest or if it’s a political thing. I don’t know what it is. It’s hard for me to believe that. as great as this game is, that there are no punters and one kicker in the Hall of Fame. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bits from Belichick, 9/27 09.27.10 at 5:41 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick just wrapped up his Monday afternoon press conference, and touched on a number of topics, including the benefits of using a no-huddle offense, the personnel changes the team made for last Sunday’s game against the Bills and the death of Pro Football Hall of Famer George Blanda. Here are some of the highlights:

On using a no-huddle in the second half — was that to push the tempo?
“No, I thought we had a pretty good tempo the whole game. It was a little different look for the second half, something we did but didn’t do it a lot of in the first half, and didn’t do it consecutively. A little different look. But I thought our tempo was good the whole game. I think there were a number of plays where, I’d say for the majority of time, we had plenty of time at the line of scrimmage and didn’t make any adjustments. The tempo was better definitely than what it was the previous week in New York.”

On the benefits of running the no-huddle:
“They don’t substitute, but we don’t substitute either, so. Whoever is out there is out there, and that’s the matchup. I think it just ‘uptempos’ the offense a little bit, and can give the quarterback more time at the line if he wants to audible, I guess. Just a little different style of play.”

Were the changes to starting lineup performance-related?
“What the starting lineup usually is the reflection of is what the personnel matchups are on that particular play. You can put up whoever you want on the first play and you’ll probably get a different combination of people based on what that is and who the matchups are. You saw that the whole game. Whatever that first play is, whoever matches up on him, if you want to call them the starters, then they’re the starters.”
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