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Meet the new, relaxed Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick AP

My biggest takeaway from Sunday evening’s media session: Bill Belichick was in an unusually chipper mood.

We mentioned even before the Patriots arrived Sunday that Belichick has taken a more relaxed attitude during this year’s playoff run.

Perhaps he’s just getting mellow as he gets older, but we doubt it. Everything Belichick does and says has a purpose. He may have received some feedback or realized that his team was a little tight before the Super Bowl four years ago.

I’ve only been to the last five Super Bowls, but there wasn’t a team that seemed less happy to be there than the ’07 Patriots. They seemed to feel the weight of Spygate and the undefeated season.

None of it would have mattered if David Tyree didn’t happen, but there was definitely a different vibe on Sunday. Belichick’s attitude seemed to trickle down to players like Logan Mankins, Matthew Slater, and Wes Welker who all were having fun.

“I’m sure he’s enjoying it. I think you’d have to be almost dead not to enjoy this,’’ Mankins said. “It is only Sunday, so wait till we get a little further in the week.”

Still, it’s not like Belichick has suddenly turned into another person.

“Even when he’s in a lighter mood, it’s pretty close to the same as he is any other time,” guard Brian Waters said. “So it’s a very thin line between unhappy and happy with him and it’s hard to tell when those days are. As a player, you never know what he’s happy about or what he’s not happy about, so I try not to read too much into it, because from one minute to another, you just never know.”

That’s the way Belichick likes it.

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30 Responses to “Meet the new, relaxed Bill Belichick”
  1. patsfiend says: Jan 30, 2012 1:37 PM

    I think he’s essentially given up. Since the Giants seem to be better on all fronts, Eli is “elite” now, Gronk’s ankle is surely broken, and that Pats’ trip to the Super Bowl has been such a cake walk, Belichick is essentially conceding defeat. He’s probably going to drink himself silly all week, and who can blame him?

    As a Pats fan, I’ll just be happy with my 2011 AFC Championship t-shirt and hat and hope that the ferocious Giants D-line doesn’t hurt my hero Tom Brady.

  2. brettfavrecellphone says: Jan 30, 2012 1:39 PM

    Because he knows Eli is due for a bad game.

  3. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 30, 2012 1:40 PM

    Belichick knows he got this game. Their gameplan is incredible.

  4. eaglesnoles05 says: Jan 30, 2012 1:40 PM

    I don’t mean to put any undue pressure on you, Bill, but win….. or I’ll die.

  5. 8man says: Jan 30, 2012 1:46 PM

    No team had ever gone 18-0 in the same season before. I don’t give a rat’s ass what Dolphins fans or any of those remaining, crusty ’73 Dolphins say. The Patriots still did something they didn’t. And there is little doubt in my mind that if they only had to go 17-0 to win it all, they would have equaled what the Dolphins did. Well, actually, surpassed since the 2007 Patriots had a far tougher schedule.

    It’s still a remarkable accomplishment when you look at all of talk surrounding other teams that were going to do it as well such as the 2009 Colts, 2009 Saints and the 2001 Packers.

    That being said, BB should be happy. He’s playing with house money. This team isn’t as good as any of those other teams. You could argue they aren’t as good as this year’s Ravens or Steelers squad. And they would have been underdogs to the Saints and the Packers. Maybe even the Niners.

    But no one in the AFC wanted it enough to get a win against the Patriots.

  6. davikes says: Jan 30, 2012 1:52 PM

    Ocho said Brady is way intense right now, and he played like he was tight vs the Ravens. So BB is loosening them up a little.

  7. CKL says: Jan 30, 2012 1:55 PM

    He likes his team. When he has a bunch of overachievers whose coachability he doesn’t have to question, he’s usually more relaxed. JMO. I don’t think he cracked a smile all during 09 because that team was the complete opposite of this one.

  8. bh83 says: Jan 30, 2012 1:59 PM

    Hey 8man,
    When a team A beats team B in the playoffs, team A is a better team. You can say the Ravens dropped a td pass or missed a kick but that’s the point, they didn’t make those plays, patriots did, therefore they are a better team. Pretty simple huh?

  9. 3octaveFart says: Jan 30, 2012 2:01 PM

    That’s because he already knows he’s got this game in the bag.
    Goodell told him so…

  10. rushmatic says: Jan 30, 2012 2:03 PM

    What does he have to be unhappy about?

    This much maligned team seems to make him proud. They’ve overachieved in almost every category and played as a single unit, as he’s always tried to preach.

    We’ve always said in NE that when BB is in an outwardly good mood (no, this isn’t the first time), watch out competition.

    I’m liking it.

  11. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 30, 2012 2:04 PM

    Apparently he sneaked a peek at the referee’s script, er, playbook, er…

  12. dsimp724 says: Jan 30, 2012 2:04 PM

    Smile for the hidden camera

  13. deepbacksidedig says: Jan 30, 2012 2:08 PM

    Good item on the BB we don’t see.
    http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/7518409/bill-belichick-everybody-critic-film-sessions

  14. nfl fan says: Jan 30, 2012 2:16 PM

    When I see him wear the Red Hoodie again, I’ll know he changed.

  15. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 30, 2012 2:25 PM

    Thumbs up if you know the refs are going to cheat blatantly for NE.

    If you don’t like it, keep it to yourself. The rest of us know better.

  16. rexismybff says: Jan 30, 2012 2:25 PM

    He should feel more at ease – less of a guilty conscience. He didn’t have to cheat against the Steelers or the Jets this year to get there. Only against the Ravens – and that was just a little scoreboard tinkering – and anyway, nobody even likes the Ravens. Goodell probably won’t even have to burn most of the tapes from that game.

  17. football272 says: Jan 30, 2012 2:29 PM

    When Belichick tries to be social, it is the most awkward experience imaginable. The “smile” on his face just screams uncomfortable.

  18. magnuminsp says: Jan 30, 2012 2:32 PM

    “This much maligned team seems to make him proud. They’ve overachieved in almost every category and played as a single unit, as he’s always tried to preach.

    We’ve always said in NE that when BB is in an outwardly good mood (no, this isn’t the first time), watch out competition.

    I’m liking it.”

    I would agree. In the special on NFL Network, He said, “I just can’t get these guys to play like I want” or something close to it.

    The current team is playing like he wants, for the most part. They are tough and really seem to have bought into the program. They may not be the most talented team, but they do play as a “team”.

  19. vaphinfan says: Jan 30, 2012 2:40 PM

    8man says:
    Jan 30, 2012 1:46 PM
    No team had ever gone 18-0 in the same season before. I don’t give a rat’s ass what Dolphins fans or any of those remaining, crusty ’73 Dolphins say. The Patriots still did something they didn’t. And there is little doubt in my mind that if they only had to go 17-0 to win it all, they would have equaled what the Dolphins did. Well, actually, surpassed since the 2007 Patriots had a far tougher schedule.

    It’s still a remarkable accomplishment when you look at all of talk surrounding other teams that were going to do it as well such as the 2009 Colts, 2009 Saints and the 2001 Packers.

    That being said, BB should be happy. He’s playing with house money. This team isn’t as good as any of those other teams. You could argue they aren’t as good as this year’s Ravens or Steelers squad. And they would have been underdogs to the Saints and the Packers. Maybe even the Niners.

    But no one in the AFC wanted it enough to get a win against the Patriots.

    __________________________________
    The dolphins went undefeated and WON the super bowl. Oh yeah, and they did it without spying on other teams play calls. Really the patriots should of had to forfeit that first game vs. the Jets.

  20. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jan 30, 2012 2:47 PM

    This is reminding me of Nick Saban before the National Championship game this year, who was also uncharacteristically fun.

    His team got beat during the regular season and now he has a rematch for the championship and he knows that his team is going to show up and dominate.

  21. tiffpats4eva says: Jan 30, 2012 2:56 PM

    What’s that on Bill’s face? A smile? Wow!

  22. fballguy says: Jan 30, 2012 3:05 PM

    The last smile he’ll have for about 6 months.

  23. n0hopeleft says: Jan 30, 2012 3:20 PM

    Patriots fans run their mouth just as much as Giants fans.

    You should all be glad the Giants don’t play in the AFC East, considering we’re about to go 5-0 against AFC EAST teams this year.

    Just dont forget this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Giants as well.

    No LBs, No TE, our best DB out for the year.

    Keep talking, Boston.

  24. djteknision1200 says: Jan 30, 2012 3:26 PM

    8man says:
    Jan 30, 2012 1:46 PM
    No team had ever gone 18-0 in the same season before. I don’t give a rat’s ass what Dolphins fans or any of those remaining, crusty ’73 Dolphins say. The Patriots still did something they didn’t. And there is little doubt in my mind that if they only had to go 17-0 to win it all, they would have equaled what the Dolphins did. Well, actually, surpassed since the 2007 Patriots had a far tougher schedule.

    It’s still a remarkable accomplishment when you look at all of talk surrounding other teams that were going to do it as well such as the 2009 Colts, 2009 Saints and the 2001 Packers.

    That being said, BB should be happy. He’s playing with house money. This team isn’t as good as any of those other teams. You could argue they aren’t as good as this year’s Ravens or Steelers squad. And they would have been underdogs to the Saints and the Packers. Maybe even the Niners.

    But no one in the AFC wanted it enough to get a win against the Patriots.

    ——————————————————

    The Dolphins went undefeated in 1972..

  25. bigbluelou says: Jan 30, 2012 3:48 PM

    Don’t think Eli is going to come out and threw the ball 58 times again. They will try to run w/o a doubt first. Nicks, Bradshaw and Baas did not play in the first game. And nobody scored until the 3rd Quarter! We will see. If the Giants get to Brady, I can not see them winning. I’m sorry. Outside of the 2 TE’s (Gronk – day to day) maybe 1 and Welker, they don’t have much else. (Branch? Chad Johnson?) Giants have much more options on offense, but that still does not guarantee them a win. Play the game already!

  26. coolgato13 says: Jan 30, 2012 3:56 PM

    Bill sure does clean up real nice ! :-)

  27. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 30, 2012 4:04 PM

    “The dolphins went undefeated and WON the super bowl. Oh yeah, and they did it without spying on other teams play calls. Really the patriots should of had to forfeit that first game vs. the Jets.”

    @vaphinfan,

    You’re right, they did it by tampering to get Coach Shula for which they were forced to give their first round pick in the following draft to the Colts. If they had a coach other than Shula chances of an undefeated season would probably have been much less. The got that undefeated record because of Shula’s schemes and the way he employed the personnel.

    What I find ridiculous about most of the people who criticize Belichik and the Pats is that they have a double standard. That double standard renders your criticism invalid.

    When the haters are also putting asterisks next to Miami’s undefeated season for tampering, next to the Broncos SB wins because of salary cap cheating, then you can also criticize the Pats. Until you do that everything you say is just an insect buzzing in the woods.

  28. dabreesknees says: Jan 30, 2012 4:06 PM

    So let me get this straight: If the Giants win, they’ve pulled off a miracle, winning six do or die games, but if the Pats win they’re cheaters? Seems kinda off balance to me. I like how every so often people like to blame their losses on cheating, like the Vikings blame the Saints and everyone blames the Pats… Cmon, people, the refs make mistakes. They’re human.

  29. all4patriots says: Jan 30, 2012 4:13 PM

    You should also realize another reason they were extra tight four years ago:

    Late in the week, a few days before the Super Bowl, an entirely new round of charges related to spygate emerged that were far more serious than the first: charges that the Pats taped a Rams Superbowl walk-through. So the discussion went from having cameras out in the open, pointed at coaches who are waving back during a game, to charges of secretly taping private, closed practices where game plans were installed.

    Only later were these charges RETRACTED, with Matt Walsh himself saying it never happened.

    On the front page, the sleazy newspaper (Herald) essentially said “We’re sorry, our bad”

    I wonder how much less uptight the coaches and players would have been had they not had to respond to made-up charges like that.

  30. rexismybff says: Jan 30, 2012 5:19 PM

    @all4patriots – you claim that the Pats never videotaped the Rams walkthrough prior to the Super Bowl. However, Belichick’s video guy, Steve Scarnecchia, was caught red-handed doing just that a couple of years ago for Belichick disciple Josh McDaniels in Denver – videotaping a Rams walkthrough. You might recall the scandal – it earned McDaniels a hefty fine, led to his firing, and led to Scarnecchia being banned from working in the NFL.

    Why should any of us believe that it’s just a remarkable coincidence that a Belichick-trained coach instructed Belichick’s own video guy to cheat in the exact manner that Belichick was accused of himself in the past?

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