Patriots coach Bill Belichick has received a lot of praise for the job he did guiding the Patriots to the AFC Championship Game this season in spite of injuries to several key players, but he saved the plaudits for his players after Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.
Belichick said he wished the team could have done better on Sunday, “especially me,” but that he had great respect for the work done over the course of the entire season. Belichick said he appreciated how hard the team worked every week and that he thought they showed improvement throughout the year.
“I’m proud of our football team. I’m proud of everything we did this year,” Belichick said, via CSNNE.com. “We’ve got a lot of guys in that locker room that played hard, played well, gave everything they had all season long. I’m proud to be their coach.”
Belichick found answers all season long, but the loss of cornerback Aqib Talib proved to be a backbreaker for a defense already missing so much talent. Even when they held the Broncos to field goals, the Patriots ate up clock and the offense couldn’t get going until the game was firmly in Denver’s control. That makes the 17 games that came before thin comfort even if the Patriots and Belichick should all be proud of what they did during them.