Belichick: No time to re-write the playbook

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Belichick: No time to re-write the playbook

FOXBORO -- In the words of Bill Belichick, Tuesday was a Friday at Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots deal with a short week and prepare for the New York Jets on Thursday night.

It makes sense. But it also means their preparation time is limited.

"It's about as quick as you can turn it around," said Belichick on Tuesday. "So, the Colts game's behind us. We're already right in the middle of the Jets preparations, and as we know, there's a lot to get ready for there."

So how do you cram it all in?

"We just review the situations," said Belichick. "These are the things we've seen them do, these are whatever happen to be their plays, their coverages, their blitzes. We talked about things that they like to do situationally, first down, second down, red area, kickoff return, kickoff coverage, those kind of things. And just consolidate it and boil it down. We were going to show 40 plays. Now, maybe we show them 10 or 15 in that particular situation this week. We just don't have the time."

Factoring into that shortened week of preparation is the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who broke his forearm on Sunday.

When asked how big of a loss Gronkowski is to the Patriots offense during this shortened week, Belichick was unsure as to how it would all play out.

"Other people are going to have to contribute," said Belichick. "We'll see how it goes. I don't know. We'll see how it goes."

Belichick then sounded confident in the way his offense runs as a whole, with or without any specific individual. But then again, he has to be confident in this offense. Because there's simply not enough time to re-write the script before Thursday night.

"We're not going to put in a whole new offense in a day and a half," said Belichick. "We may make some adjustments, but we've done what we've been doing for a while, and we've had some success with it. So, we'll find a way to continue to do the things that we know how to do, and if we have to make some adjustments, we'll make some. But we can't try to change everything in a couple days."

Whether that's a good thing or not for the Patriots, remains to be seen.

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

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Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 

 

 

A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

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A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

Less than a week after announcing his retirement on Instagram, Kevin Garnett was back in the gym with old friends Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers.

Cue the comeback rumors? "Anything is possible!"

The tweet from the Clippers called Garnett a “special guest” at the team’s practice on Thursday. 

Rivers, the current Clippers and ex-Celtics coach, told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan last week he was willing to bring Garnett, who has a home in Malibu, to Los Angeles for one last season but KG, 40, chose to retire. So, apparently, the reunion Thursday with Doc, Pierce and Garnett was only temporary.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, a former Celtics assistant under Rivers, wants Garnett to join his staff.