Bill Belichick was noticeably happier in the New England Patriots locker room celebration after Thursday’s 19-14 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He greeted the team with a smile in a stark contrast to his curmudgeonly approach after beating the Houston Texans. Watch the video here.
“Nice job men,” Belichick said in the postgame speech. “That’s really nice job. Short week. On the road. Coming down here, man, that’s a tough game to win. You did a good job of hanging in there, wasn’t easy. They fought their ass off, but so did you.
“We got to keep grinding, we got to keep working, we got to keep believing in each other. We got to keep playing hard. We got to keep playing hard.
“That was a lot better today, defensively. Communication was good. There’s a lot of things we can do better, but that was a way to step up Big D, nice job. Good work, men.”
The Patriots also welcomed back team captain Matthew Slater with a big smile, with coaches and players excited to see him back in action. Slater led the team in a break down after the game.
“What we learned today, is sometimes adversity builds character,” Slater said to the team, “and what we did was put down a character brick tonight and we’re going to continue to build upon that foundation. Sometimes you got to go down in there and get dirty, and that’s what we did.”
I’m convinced that Slater’s “get dirty” comment is a reference to their all white jerseys that collected all of the turf and dirt from the game. But what a great speech.