If you thought New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was going to tune out the noise and move onwards to the Buffalo Bills, you thought wrong. When some in the media decided to open fire on the Patriots this past week, Belichick took notice and he was offended.
"I'd just say, kind of tying this in with a couple things from last week or earlier in the week, I just think overall it's kind of sad, really, to see some stories written that obviously have an agenda to them," Belichick said in his Friday press conference. "With misinformation and anonymous-type comments and writing about warm drinks and trash cans and stuff like that.
"I think it's just sad commentary and it's gone to a pretty low level. It's sunk pretty deep."
Belichick is effectively calling out the media organizations that have been so thirsty to post an anti-Patriots post that they'll stoop to posting unsubstantiated rumors and claims from rival teams just to get an article on the market. The Patriots head coach points out that these muckraking tabloid pieces do nothing except try and take away the successes of the New England franchise.
"First of all, let's say that I think that our program here is built on competition and trying to improve every day and trying to work hard, and it's not built on excuses," Belichick said in a likely dig at the Steelers and their recent claims about the Patriots manipulating headsets. "We just try to go to work and improve and find a way to get better."
"This organization has won a lot of games, but particularly in reference to the great teams from '01, '03, '04 and back in there, all the great players that played on those teams - Ty Law, [Lawyer] Milloy, Otis Smith, Rodney Harrison, [Tedy] Bruschi, [Larry] Izzo, [Willie] McGinest, [Mike] Vrabel, [Anthony] Pleasant, [Richard] Seymour, Matt Light, [Joe] Andruzzi, Steve Neal, [Deion] Branch, Troy Brown, [Tom] Brady, Antoine Smith, Kevin Faulk, Corey Dillon, Lonie Paxton, [Adam] Vinatieri - to take away from what those guys accomplished, what those teams accomplished, how good they were, how many great players we had, how well they played in big games, how they consistently showed up and made big plays and game-winning plays, it's just not right.
"Those guys, they were great players - and many more - but those are a few of them, and great teams, so I'm not going to get into a back and forth on it, but that's the way I feel about it."
Belichick was in full protection mode after the Steelers tried to claim the Patriots affected their headsets, even though coaches around the league say that headsets are a problem in every stadium, and that the NFL hurried to release a statement to say that the Patriots weren't at fault.
The idea that the league has prodded Tom Brady into Angry-mode and Belichick into On to Cincinnati-mode by week 1 should be pretty harrowing for the rest of the league.
On a side note, Belichick has a pretty impressive memory. Anyone who has asked the Patriots head coach to reminisce or to talk about some random punting formation in the football world from 36 years ago will be pleasantly surprised by how in depth he will be able to go, and discuss the actual punter who was best able to run the play.
So I decided to cross check the names that Belichick offered with the players who were on the Patriots 2001, 2003, and 2004 Super Bowl teams. Of a possible 22 names, Belichick named 14 of them. Here are the eight players that he forgot:
Tom Ashworth, Matt Chatham, Je'Rod Cherry, Ted Johnson, Adrian Klemm, Patrick Pass, David Patten, Roman Phifer
Just thought it'd be good to throw their names up there, too, because that's what Belichick would have wanted.