If you get Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to talk about football history, he'll open like a book. If you ask him about football strategy, he'll bring you into the loop. Ask him a question for a sound bite, and he'll laugh in your face.
On his Monday media call, Belichick was asked about wide receiver Julian Edelman's touchdown throw, and the thought process behind the play call. His answer exceeded expectations.
Q: On the double pass, you explained how the Ravens blitz on that play helped open things open a little bit and gave Julian Edelman a little bit of time to throw. Was there something about that situation that you guys as a coaching staff expected them to play that kind of defense? I know it's impossible to know what they're going to do, but was wondering if you were looking for something like that.
BB: On the double pass, I would say that, yeah, there's no way I would sit here and say, ‘Yeah, we knew that's what they were going to do.' But I would also say it wasn't a surprise when they brought the nickel back and we had hurt them on first down, gained like nine yards on first down and that created the second-and-short, and then if I remember, we ran a quarterback sneak. Then it was first down again and it didn't surprise us that we got some kind of pressure to try to not let us get another first down or eight- or nine-yard gain or that kind of thing to try to create a second-and-long. You know, I'd say playing the percentages, we thought we would get one of their base calls or possibly some pressure in that situation and we ended up getting pressure. That's the way it was.
Essentially, the Patriots had a big first down play, and converted on second-and-short. Belichick played the odds that the Baltimore Ravens would pressure the Patriots offense to prevent another big first down play, and that there would be an open play to take the top off of the defense.
Boy, was he correct. Well done, coach. Well done.