Patriots coach Bill Belichick avoided the issue when asked to respond today to comments made by Vikings coach Brad Childress yesterday that the Patriots were among the league’s best sign-stealers in the days when hand signals were used in the NFL.
“Right now, we’re just trying to focus on the Vikings … we’re not really worried about any other games that happened in the past or any later ones that are coming up on the schedule,” Belichick said during a conference call this afternoon.
Childress was referring to a 2006 game in which the Patriots defeated the Vikings 31-7. Belichick said he doesn’t have any relationship with Childress beyond seeing him at league functions.
“Brad and I have never coached together. Like all the other coaches in the NFL, you see everybody at the combine, and owners’ meetings, and stuff like that,” Belichick said.
Belichick kept the focus on football and the Patriots’ game Sunday against the Vikings.
“They are a really good football team, very talented. We just see a lot of great players on the field in all situations,” he said. “There’s a lot to get ready for. They run a lot of different formations and looks, personnel groups on offense and they are a very good, fundamental team on defense. So I know they’re disappointed in their record, but they’re just a couple plays away from being 6-0. They’ve lost three games on the last possession and a five-point loss to New Orleans. They’re really close to winning every single game they’ve been in, just like they did last year.””
He was asked about the news that emerged late yesterday afternoon that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was diagnosed with two fractures in his left ankle.
“If he can’t play and he’s out then I guess they’ll put him on injured reserve. If he’s on their roster, then we’ll prepare for him,” Belichick said.
Belichick did not have an update on the status of safety Patrick Chung, who left Sunday’s game vs. the Chargers with an injury. Belichick said players, who are off today, would receive treatment today if needed and return to practice tomorrow.
“We’ll see where everybody is at tomorrow relative to practice,” Belichick said. “We’ll just treat it it day-to-day and evaluate based on whether they’re able to practice on a daily basis. That’s what we do with everybody.”
Patriots personnel director Nick Caserio was asked about the situation with holdout offensive lineman Logan Mankins, but said nothing has changed.