Patriots

Bill Belichick on Kliff Kingsbury’s comments, Patriots’ team-first mentality, and enjoying Army-Navy

Belichick said the bye week "went by pretty quickly."

Belichick Army Navy
Bill Belichick prior to the Patriots' game against the Bills. AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

Bill Belichick joined WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday morning following the Patriots’ bye week.

“It went by pretty quickly,” Belichick said of the bye week resting period. “It [was] kind of a short bye week here with the Monday night game, and then playing on Saturday, but good to get a couple days to rest.”

Asked later in the interview if he prefers the NFL’s new 17-game schedule to the old 16-game version, the Patriots coach had a straightforward response.

“Yeah, I don’t think it really matters what I think,” he said.

As New England prepares for its Saturday clash in Indianapolis against the Colts, Belichick shared his thoughts on a few subjects:

Watching Army vs. Navy

Having grown up in Annapolis when his father was an assistant coach and scout for the Naval Academy, Belichick has personal investment in the annual Army-Navy game.

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And because the Patriots’ bye week coincided with the college rivalry matchup, Belichick was able to enjoy watching the game without the usual busyness in his schedule. Navy ended up pulling off an upset, defeating Army 17-13.

“It is nice to be able to sit and watch that game,” said Belichick. “That was great, especially watching Navy win. Sometimes we’re traveling, if we have an away game we’re on the plane or on the bus, so it’s nice to be able to sit there and take it in and enjoy a Navy victory. That’s always a good thing.”

Patriots players embracing team-first mentality

Part of New England’s success during the team’s seven-game winning streak has been an evolving series of game plans that match up with each opponent.

For certain players, such as the Patriots’ wide receivers during the run-heavy approach in the recent victory against the Bills, a team win has required sacrificing individual statistics.

As Belichick explained, this is a fundamental principle of football.

“Really when you have a good team, that’s what you have,” he said. “If you don’t have that, then you’re probably going to have some problems. When you sign up to play a team sport like football, you give up some of your personal preferences and your individuality and control over your individual performance.

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“If you want to play an individual sport like tennis or golf or something, then it’s all on you,” Belichick added. “When you sign up for a team sport, then sometimes there are things you have to do that maybe you’re not crazy about but maybe it’s in the best interest of the team and other teammates do that same thing for you so the team can have success. That’s really important to get to that point in any team sport.”

Kliff Kingsbury’s comments about the Coach of the Year Award

In a recent press conference, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury—who currently presides over a 10-2 team atop the NFC—said he thinks that the NFL Coach of the Year Award should go to Belichick every year.

“I mean, they should just name the award ‘Bill Belichick,’” Kingsbury told reporters. “Until he retires, I don’t think anybody else should get that award, honestly. He should be that any single year that he’s coaching.”

Belichick has won the award on three occasions. Asked about Kingsbury’s compliment, Belichick responded in kind.

“It was very nice of Kliff to toss that bouquet. I’ll toss it right back,” he said. “I think he’s done a great job and should be the Coach of the Year this year.”

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