Belichick a man of the moment

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Belichick a man of the moment

INDIANAPOLIS -- Did Bill Belichick ever imagine himself standing before a room full of reporters, discussing his hunt for the Super Bowl?

Never for a second," he smiled.

At first it's almost hard to believe. Belichick is one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- coaching minds of this generation. To think he never daydreamed as a child of lifting the Lombardi Trophy, well, it sounds like little more than false modesty.

But consider what you see and hear about Bill Belichick: he's methodical, he's consistent, he lauds discipline. Under those terms, it's not so crazy to think he was always too focused on the present to fantasize about the future.

"Id say, wherever I was, I was consumed," Belichick said Sunday night. "Whether I was working for Ted Marchibroda, breaking down film getting ready for the playoff game with the Steelers in 1975, in Detroit coaching the tight ends for coach (Rick) Forzano and coach (Tommy) Hudspeth in 1976-77, Denver in 1978 getting ready for the playoffs out there, with Pittsburgh in 1979, coming to the Giants with coach (Ray) Perkins, coaching the special teams.

"I loved coaching special teams for Ray Perkins. It was a great job. It was awesome. Then Bill (Parcells) came in, and he was the defensive coordinator in 1981, and I had the opportunity to work with the linebackers and still coach special teams. When Bill took over, I was basically the defensive coordinator as a job description and a title a couple of years later."

Here, we have to hit pause. Belichick's 12 years coaching in New York is a subject of interest this week.

The Giants are the last obstacle between Belichick and his sixth Super Bowl ring. They also wear the name that won him his first two. Belichick reminisced about those years famously in the NFL Films documentary "A Football Life." The coach's candor was eye-opening. One almost felt voyeuristic, especially when -- inconceivably -- Belichick was moved to tears.

He had been retracing old steps through the halls of Giants Stadium.

"I loved that job. I loved coaching the Giants defense. Being in New York, being a part of that great organization and those great players I had the opportunity to coach. In all honesty, I wasnt thinking then about if this was what I was going to do at some other point. We were trying to win there. We won in 1986, and it was a great year. We rebuilt the team, and we won again. I was consumed with that. I really just try to live in the moment, whatever that is."

Makes sense now, doesn't it? Belichick denying the idea he dreamed of Super Bowl titles doesn't signal a lack of ambition; his focus was so total it made him shortsighted.

"Right now, its here, and Im happy to be here, believe me. Theres no place Id rather be. Other points in time, I was dealing with other challenges, other teams and other situations. I tried to do the best I could in those situations with whatever responsibilities I had. I never really thought too much about where it was going to go."

This is the week he obsesses about Lombardi. He'll stalk his quarry with the same pointed focus he had in Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Cleveland and New York. The love he has for those old Giants serves for a swell story, but has nothing to do with this moment -- the here and now.

Another Super Bowl for the Patriots.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."

Raptors, in pursuit of Celtics in playoff race, lose Lowry for perhaps rest of regular season

Raptors, in pursuit of Celtics in playoff race, lose Lowry for perhaps rest of regular season

The Eastern Conference playoff race, seemingly altered by the moves -- and non-moves (hello there, Celtics) -- of some of the contenders, just took another twist.

The Raptors, bolstered by the acquisition of Serge Ibaka and appearing poised to make a run toward the top of the standings after a come-from-behind victory over the Celtics on Friday, were hit with a body blow Monday when it was announced All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry needs surgery on his right wrist and may miss the remainder of the regular season.

ESPN reports Lowry is expected to be sidelined from four to eight weeks. Toronto hopes to have him back for the playoffs.

The Raptors are currently in fourth place in the conference at 35-24, trailing Cleveland (40-17), Boston (38-21) and Washington (34-23). Without Lowry, and facing a rough, six-of-their-next-seven-games-on-the-road stretch, Toronto may stop focusing on catching the Wizards and/or Celtics and focus on holding off Atlanta (32-26) in order to hold onto home-court in the first round.

Lowry, 30, who missed the last two games because of the injury, is averaging a career-best 22.8 points per game. He also is averaging 6.9 assists and 4.7 rebounds.