When the Patriots got to Indianapolis last week, our own Gregg Rosenthal introduced us to the “new, relaxed Bill Belichick.”
Belichick was cracking jokes during press conferences, keeping things light around his team and generally coming across nothing like he usually does when placed in front of cameras and microphones. Rosenthal wasn’t the only one remarking about how different Belichick seemed this time around and the only thing odder would be if Rex Ryan showed up at Jets training camp promising that the team will work hard and hope for the best.
In the moments directly after the game ended, it looked like things were continuing on the same line. He and Tom Coughlin had a long hug and said a few things to one another before Belichick sauntered off the field.
A more familiar Belichick popped out of his hooded sweatshirt a short time later. It started when he blew off NBC’s post-game interview altogether and then continued when he arrived at the press conference. He made a brief opening statement congratulating the Giants and bemoaning the fact that the Pats couldn’t make enough plays. Then the questions started.
What did Belichick think about the safety on the first Patriots play? “It’s not my call.”
What plays could have been better? “There was 100 plays you could be talking about and I would take a lot of them.”
Did you let the Giants score? “Right.”
Can you take us through your thought process on that? “No. Ball was inside the 10-yard line, a 90 percent field goal conversion.”
Second-guessing anything? “Sure, could have done a better job in a lot of things.”
Anything specific? “There’s a lot of plays out there.”
Losing a Super Bowl is tough and the last thing anyone would want to do is break it down in painstaking detail moments after everything plays out. That’s why most coaches engage in bland platitudes that fill the air but tell you just as little as Belichick did with his terse answers. Graciousness is all well and good, but honesty is appreciated as well.
Most of all, we’re just glad to have the old Belichick back. That grinning fellow from last week just didn’t sit right.