Patriots coach Bill Belichick held his regular Tuesday conference call with reporters and he seemed to be in a talkative mood, expounding on a variety of topics for almost 25 minutes. A few nuggets:
1) Team will stay on West Coast again. Similar to earlier this season when the Patriots played at San Francisco (Oct. 5) and San Diego (Oct. 12), the team will have close to the same itinerary next week with games at Seattle (Dec. 5) and at Oakland (Dec. 12) by staying in California. Belichick said he felt the plan went well the first time around, and there will only be a few minor alterations.
2) SEC title game talk. A reporter from Birmingham, Ala., hopped on the call and asked Belichick his thoughts on the Alabama-Florida matchup in the SEC title game. The contest has teams led by head coaches Belichick respects – Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. Belichick was asked who he was picking, and responded: “I can’t do that. I have all the respect in the world for both men, both coaches, both programs. My relationship goes back further with Nick, and I could never root against Nick, but I don’t want to root against Urban either. May the best team win.”
3) Seymour’s comments on WEEI in focus. In a Monday interview on the “Dale & Holley Show” on WEEI, defensive end Richard Seymour said he disagreed with the coaches’ decision to take him off the field on third down against the Steelers. Seymour ended up being integrated into the mix on third down by the second quarter. Belichick was asked if he could envision more of a full-time role for Seymour on third down in the future. He explained what goes into those decisions — sometimes its game-plan related, other times it’s due to injury situations etc. — and said those decisions are made in the best interest of the team. “I think the players all understand that,” he said. “They may not agree with every single thing, but I think they understand that. Football is a team sport and in order to participate on a team, each one of us has to give up a little bit of something individually that we would maybe prefer to do if it was strictly about us. But it’s not. It’s what best for everybody, so there is always a little bit of give-and-take with the team on what you do, and how you do it, in order to do the best thing for the team and to help the team win. We all have to do that, and I think the players on this team do a great job of it. That doesn’t mean that if they could have it a little bit differently, they wouldn’t prefer it that way. I understand that. That goes for every player and coach on this team, and probably every other football team.”