On a conference call, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reflected on his team's win against Buffalo yesterday and declined to give too much away on his team's plans for this week's game against the Dolphins. Patriots players have tomorrow off while the team's coaches draft a game plan for Miami.
"Right now just happy to win in Buffalo and ready to turn the page and get on with this week's preparation," said Belichick. "We'll have to turn it around here and come back on Wednesday and get ready for Miami, and we'll deal with whatever comes after that when it comes."
Tom Brady said after yesterday's game that he'd like to play against the Dolphins even though the AFC East has already been wrapped up. Belichick didn't give away hints on playing time.
"I think it'll be like it is every week," said Belichick. "The decisions in what we do this week will be in what we feel is in the best interest of the football team. There's a lot of things that will go into that conversation. Certainly we'll do what's best for the team, but there's some players individually whose situations are a little different than other guys ...We've certainly had our problems with [the Dolhpins] through the years. They've come up here and handled us pretty good a couple of years ago."
The Patriots were unable to fly back after the game last night because of the snow storm. They returned home this afternoon, a delay that Belichick said was minor.
"We're just going to have to get caught up here," he said. "It's kind of like playing a Sunday night game, not quite a Monday night game. Watch some film, make some corrections, get all those things done ...I'd say we're a few hours behind."
One benefit of the extra time in New York? Patriots tight end Alge Crumpler bought the team about 500 wings from Dinosaur's Bar B Que in Rochester, N.Y., and Patriots players enjoyed them on the plane ride back.
"They hit the spot," said Belichick.
Belichick was asked about Crumpler's touchdown reception yesterday.
"Alge's made a great contribution to this team all year," said Belichick. "The fact that he's one of our captains, this being his first year on the team, really is a testament to the amount of respect that he has from his peers, from his teammates. He's a hard working guy. He's really smart. He understands the game, he knows what's important and he's very team oriented. He's totally focused on winning, and it's not about his personal statistics or achievements"
One player who has not been shy about racking up personal statistics is quarterback Tom Brady. Brady broke the NFL record of 308 consecutive passes without an interception yesterday. The original record was set by the Belichick-coached Bernie Kosar, with the Cleveland Browns during the 1990 and 1991 seasons.
"I think I'm fortunate to have been the coach during those two periods where my starting quarterback didn't turn the ball over," said Belichick. "I think a lot more of that is a reflection and a compliment to the player throwing the ball than the coach. They're the ones that have to make the decisions, see the defenses, and makes the throws, take the hits from the pass rush and all that. Certainly Bernie and Tom deserve the credits for those streaks."