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Belichick on Gronk injury: “Football players play football”

Bill Belichick AP

Bill Belichick understands the criticism of leaving star tight end Rob Gronkowski on the extra point unit with a big lead late, given the broken arm Gronkowski suffered which could keep him out a month or more.

But Belichick said during a radio interview with WEEI he’s always thinking about how quickly a team can score on him, but also has to manage the feelings of 53 players when making such decisions.

“We’ve seen those games in the NFL every year, teams that have a lead — you can go back to the Indianapolis-Tampa game when they scored like 24 points in four minutes,” he said, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “The Buffalo-Houston playoff game where it’s 35-0 at halftime and you lose 38-35, whatever it was. It doesn’t take much in this league. Teams can score quickly. Turnovers. I think you just keep playing. At some point, there is a point [but] then you only have so many players, so somebody has to play.

“I think you have to be careful when you are trying to run a team to go up to one guy and say, ‘Michael, we’re going to leave you in the game because we don’t really care about you, but Glenn, we’re going to take you out because you’re really important.’ I don’t think that’s really a good way to approach a team. I’ve never done that. I don’t think that would be a very successful approach to it.”

At some point, it becomes an issue of plain, dumb, bad luck, which Belichick acknowledged saying: “Football players play football. You tell me which guys are going to get hurt and I’ll get them out of there.”

The Patriots will obviously miss Gronkowski, but they’re also well-stocked in receiving targets it shouldn’t kill them.

Short of quarterback Tom Brady, no one single injury should.

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37 Responses to “Belichick on Gronk injury: “Football players play football””
  1. tbd3 says: Nov 19, 2012 3:43 PM

    “You tell me which guys are going to get hurt and I’ll get them out of there.”

    Love it.

  2. jagsfan1 says: Nov 19, 2012 3:48 PM

    “You tell me when they are practicing – and I will film them”

    Bill Belichick

  3. marvsleezy says: Nov 19, 2012 3:53 PM

    If they just run the ball with the back ups and dont pass it – They probably wouldnt have scored. Gronk doesnt get hurt.

    And no, no team has ever come back from 4 touchdowns in the fourth Q, so that argument is just an excuse to run up the score.

    And you know what else? When you run up the score, some coaches and players get angry, and they will TRY to hurt you.

  4. ampats says: Nov 19, 2012 4:01 PM

    But people like Ron “Plagiarism” Borges and pundits know better than Bill Belichick on the proper timing of substituting players.

    Gronk is a great blocker and he played the wing on special teams for the past two seasons Seeing most comments you would think it would be no big deal to just throw any back up player in there .

    Gronk will be back for the playoffs. Injuries happen,its football.

  5. geniusfan says: Nov 19, 2012 4:02 PM

    Belichick putting the media in their place again. As a Patriots fan I absolutely love this guy.

  6. billsfaninmiami says: Nov 19, 2012 4:06 PM

    Hard to hate Belichick when he makes such good good sense.

  7. nite2al says: Nov 19, 2012 4:15 PM

    I think Belichick is a great coach, but I am definitely not a fan of his. However, his philosophy has always been to play his best players on special teams, extra points, etc. So, don’t knock him the moment a key player gets hurts. Obviously, this formula has worked for him all these years. It’s like when a receiver get the ball the picked off in front of him when he is waiting for it and the announcers say, “he should come back for the ball”. Receivers rarely come back for the ball in the natural flow of a play, but it is only mention when it is intercepted in front of him.

  8. bamboozle99 says: Nov 19, 2012 4:17 PM

    So Brady is not the holder for special teams only because he can’t hold a football.

  9. atxpatfan says: Nov 19, 2012 4:18 PM

    jagsfan1 says:Nov 19, 2012 3:48 PM

    “You tell me when they are practicing – and I will film them”

    Bill Belichick
    ———————————-

    I guess when you’re a Jags fan, you have no choice but to find alternative ways to entertain yourself.

  10. mataug says: Nov 19, 2012 4:18 PM

    As a Pats hater, I love his response. Honestly, the way their defense and offense have played in the fourth quarter, I wouldn’t put it past them to conceded a 20+pt lead.

  11. nyjets1017 says: Nov 19, 2012 4:22 PM

    If your defense gives up that big a lead you don’t deserve to win the ball game anyway

  12. giantssb42champs says: Nov 19, 2012 4:24 PM

    Yep, gonkowki’s injury didn’t hurt them in the SB at all.

  13. geniusfan says: Nov 19, 2012 4:27 PM

    “Gronk will be back for the playoffs. Injuries happen,its football.”

    Exactly. This is a violent game injuries will happen it’s up to the players and coaches to overcome them.

    I actually think Gronk is going to be back in December at some point. Probably for the Jags and Dolphins games, heck Breer is saying he wants to play against Houston in two weeks. I doubt that happens but this injury is clearly not of the season ending variety he’ll be back and ready to go before things start to really matter.

  14. samphilvista82 says: Nov 19, 2012 4:29 PM

    If a Colt dives in against a backup and wrecks either Mesko or Gostkowski, talk radio is lit up with ‘why did we have third stringers in there blocking on the extra point?’

  15. patriotenvy says: Nov 19, 2012 4:30 PM

    Last week the Ravens beat the Raiders 55-20. Where was all the whinning about them running up the score?

    Should Mike Tyson not have punched so hard when he saw his opponents eyes start to glaze over. This is a joke.

  16. themackstrong says: Nov 19, 2012 4:37 PM

    No love for the Pats here, but its football and just bad luck for one of their stars as one of the best coaches in history said. I’m sure if there was a come back push, the same people would question why didn’t the coach have his stars out there to defend the lead when they have been so bad at it this year.

  17. tbd3 says: Nov 19, 2012 4:42 PM

    giantssb42champs says:
    Nov 19, 2012 4:24 PM

    Yep, gonkowki’s injury didn’t hurt them in the SB at all.
    ———————————————-

    Yep, this is the exact same team as last year. No changes were made whatsoever.

    Oh, and the defense was the biggest factor in that loss, not the offense.

  18. heyitsmejosh says: Nov 19, 2012 4:49 PM

    i dont see anyone bashing the colts for keeping luck in a game that was already lost…

  19. keepingitrealdumb says: Nov 19, 2012 5:00 PM

    “football players play football”. LOVE this comment .. in football players get injured .. that is the nature of the game.

    bad luck is bad luck .. don’t try to look back to yesterday and say things like “why didn’t you take him out?” .. “why didn’t you do this? why didn’t do you that?”

    pointless

  20. shoeflypie says: Nov 19, 2012 5:04 PM

    @nyjets1017 – can you explain it to me again how a team “earns” the right to win a game? I thought that right came by scoring more points.

  21. annes22 says: Nov 19, 2012 5:04 PM

    Running up the score as usual, so it serves them right. Next time watch out it could be Brady. The game was out of reach for the Colts, so it’s just typical Bill being Bill. Get on with it.

  22. 8man says: Nov 19, 2012 5:12 PM

    jagsfan1 says:
    Nov 19, 2012 3:48 PM
    “You tell me when they are practicing – and I will film them”

    Bill Belichick
    —————————————————————-
    I’m a Patriots fan. And I’m sick beyond sick of hearing about spygate..but that was funny.

  23. howiehandles says: Nov 19, 2012 5:28 PM

    Love him or hate him, his response was spot on.

  24. mistrezzrachael says: Nov 19, 2012 5:42 PM

    nyjets1017 says:Nov 19, 2012 4:22 PM

    If your defense gives up that big a lead you don’t deserve to win the ball game anyway

    Well, I’d have to say I find it hilarious a jet fan would speak about giving up a big lead….

    Last time the jets lead anyone…was 44 years ago..but anyways, Happy 44th anniversary.

  25. azarkhan says: Nov 19, 2012 5:49 PM

    “I think you have to be careful when you are trying to run a team to go up to one guy and say, ‘Michael, we’re going to leave you in the game because we don’t really care about you, but Glenn, we’re going to take you out because you’re really important.’

    Exactly right. Time for the whiners to take their ball and go home.

  26. pick6ftw says: Nov 19, 2012 5:50 PM

    “You tell me which guys are going to get hurt and I’ll get them out of there.” and he means this. Bill has proven that if you give him footage of what will transpire in the future, he is unstoppable.

  27. packhawk04 says: Nov 19, 2012 6:03 PM

    Stupid that gronk was in there and he knows it.

  28. alskdh says: Nov 19, 2012 7:02 PM

    Ahh, Bill. So ever determined to run up the score that you still felt the need to have Gronk blocking on an extra point that would give your team a 35 point lead well after the game had been sealed.

    Guess that didn’t turn out to be a very smart decision. Your killing us.

  29. coolzog says: Nov 19, 2012 7:04 PM

    It seems to me an opponent is more likely to get turnovers and come back in a game if you’re throwing the ball vs. running out the clock…

  30. tigerlilac says: Nov 19, 2012 7:17 PM

    Love the subtle shot at Bill Polian. The Colts pick and chose what players sat near the end of the year they were undefeated and proceeded to lose both the undefeated season and an early playoff game.

  31. doublezero74 says: Nov 19, 2012 7:55 PM

    Keep the hate coming losers, that patriots will just keep the wins coming. BBs philosophy/system has worked well and there isn’t but a handful of teams in NFL that wouldn’t gladly switch coaches. (Jags, jets, raiders, chargers, bengals, lions, bills, cowboys are all waving)

  32. patriotinvasion says: Nov 19, 2012 7:59 PM

    I love how all the people who say the Patriots are running up the score are the same ones that say that Tom Brady was never good without cameras. So now with no cameras, you bums are waiving the white flag hoping the big mean Patriots stop scoring on you. Lol. Your tears taste like Skittles!

  33. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 19, 2012 8:49 PM

    Steeler fan weighing in here, so no “homerism” factor at all.

    Belichick might be, just might be, the greatest NFL coach of all-time. Of the last 20-25 Super Bowls, Belichick’s fingerprints are all over MANY of them, including stints on teams not named the Patriots. In fact, his only losses in the “Big Game” have involved the most unlikely of occurrences (e.g., Tyree helmet catch, Manningham sideline catch).

    Exceptional coach. A legend.

    And who’s the other guy? Borges? Oh, yeah — Borges is the dude who plays 20/20 hindsight guy, the Monday morning armchair QB guy.

    Belichick is the man. Borges? Not so much.

  34. ddogdaddy says: Nov 19, 2012 11:18 PM

    You think just maybe Bully Bill was trying to send a message to the Colts showing them what is instore for them if they do make the playoffs and have to go back through Foxboro? I do and I am glad it may cost him dearly. I was telling my friend “now I remember why I hate the Pats”. No class. It is his duty to win games. Now due to his lack of common sense may cost the Pats several wins. I don’t know Karma, but for certain she is a cold and black hearted bitch. I sure hope you Pats fans get to know her as she will be with this team for the rest of the year. At the end of the season without another trophy and you start wondering what went wrong. Little miss Karma will be there to remind you. Enjoy, I know I will.

  35. superpats90 says: Nov 20, 2012 12:20 AM

    You know I’m not just saying this because I’m a patriots fan, but come on, he’s right. In the words of herm “you play to win the game” they’re not just gonna lay down so the colts can make some plays and take the lead. Its very easy to sneak up on an opponent in their glory…

  36. capecotton says: Nov 20, 2012 2:07 AM

    alskdh says: Nov 19, 2012 7:02 PM

    Ahh, Bill. So ever determined to run up the score that you still felt the need to have Gronk blocking on an extra point that would give your team a 35 point lead well after the game had been sealed.

    Guess that didn’t turn out to be a very smart decision. Your killing us.

    ————————

    Still laughing about this logic here…

    Losing Gronkowsky is a major hit and Pats Haters should be celebrating. He is not just ‘a good tight end’, he’s a potential Hall of Famer. Anyone who’s seen him absolutely crush coverages week in and week out can sense that.

    But what does having him block on a PAT have to do with running up the score? If Shiancoe or Hoohoo or Fells is in there (and two of them probably already were) instead of him do you REALLY think they’re going to miss the PAT?

    Still laughing….

  37. sjhesketh says: Nov 20, 2012 9:09 AM

    If they just run the ball with the back ups and dont pass it – They probably wouldnt have scored. Gronk doesnt get hurt.
    **********************************************

    They did run the ball with their backup (Vereen) on the final scoring drive. Gronk wasn’t on the field for that drive.

    Maybe the onus is on the Colts not to give up and actually make a tackle? On Edelman’s 50 yard run on the drive before, Freeney was about 5 yards from Edelman and just….stopped….running.

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