Belichick: History shows no right or wrong way to game plan

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Belichick: History shows no right or wrong way to game plan

FOXBORO -- The Patriots game plan changes each week. They do what they think works best against that particular opponent, rather than continuing to solely stick to their biggest strengths each week, regardless of who they're playing.

As Bill Belichick game plans for the New York Jets, he opened up on Friday, saying, just because that's New England's philosophy, doesn't mean it's the only way to be successful.

The Patriots coach goes back to his high school days, where he won "a ton of games with two different teams under two completely opposite philosophies.

The first year, their offense only ran four plays.

"We ran four plays: 22-Power, 24-Quick Trap, 28-Counter, and Sprint-Right," said Belichick. "That was it. And when we ran it to the other side, we just flipped the formation. O-line flip, and a play went the other way.

"That was the offense. That was the entire offense. And we won a lot of games."

One year later, it was the exact opposite, with the quarterback calling his own plays from a much more extensive playbook.

"That was about as opposite as you could get, from one year, to the next year," said Belichick. "We won just as many games. It was totally different. But both were very successful. So, what's the right way to do it, what's the wrong way to do it? I don't know. Whatever works. Whatever you believe in. But then it all has to line up that way."

Belichick went on to point out that the same type of differences are seen in NFL philosophies. He continued by telling the story of his time with the Denver Broncos early on in his NFL career, where he was an assistant special teams coach and a defensive assistant.

"There were game plans where we had 60 different defensive fronts," said Belichick. "It's hard to imagine 60 different fronts, really, in a 3-4 defense. But that's what it was. Like 60 different alignments."

Then when Belichick began a 12-year stint with the New York Giants, he saw the same type of 3-4 defense. It just wasn't as complicated, but yet, just as successful as his defense in Denver.

"We played one front, with one adjustment," said Belichick. "We reduced the end on the weak side from a 4-technique to a three-technique. And that's it. Then I'd say, 95 percent of the snaps that we played -- from 81-to-90 that weren't Nickel snaps -- over 90 percent of them had to be either base or reduced front. Maybe 95 percent. Might have been higher than that.

"Two good defenses . . . same 3-4, two totally different philosophies."

Through it all, Belichick has learned to take some things with him. He's also told himself that there were things he'd never do. He's a combination of everything he's seen thus far, from high school to the NFL.

And on Sunday against the New York Jets, his philosophy will be to game plan for nobody other than the New York Jets.

That's his philosophy.

Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

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Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization have been saying for a long time that they hope Tom Brady prevails in his fight with the league over Deflategate. Kraft reiterated that stance on Tuesday at the NFL's annual spring meetings.

But on Wednesday, the Patriots took their support for Brady to a different platform. The team has filed an amicus brief stating that it supports Brady and the NFLPA now that the union has filed a petition to be granted a rehearing by the Second Circuit. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it is a noteworthy move because the last time an NFL team took legal action against league was when late Raiders owner Al Davis sued the NFL. It is important to note, though, as SI.com's Michael McCann explains, that the Patriots have not actually "switched sides" in this instance. As one of 32 teams in the league, they are technically still a part of the NFL Management Council et al. v. NFL Players Association et al. With its amicus brief, however, the team is advocating for a rehearing of a case that the NFL recently won. 

Filing the brief may not necessarily have any legal impact on the case -- judges can ignore the team's opinion in its amicus brief if they so choose -- but its value may be more than simply symbolic in nature. Attorney Daniel Wallach notes that the team's amicus brief covers ground that Brady's petition for rehearing couldn't cover due to page limits. 

On the first page of the amicus brief, in the document's second footnote, the language is strong: "From the outset of this matter, the League's conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady's involvement, was reiled on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense."

The Patriots have continued to update The Wells Report in Context, a website that argues the findings of the NFL's investigation into Brady that has also accumulated various reports and scientific studies that support Brady's innocence. But this amicus brief is another way for the team to show that it has its quarterback's back. 

The NFLPA filed its petition for a rehearing on Monday and now awaits a decision from the 13 judges of the Second Circuit as to whether or not they will grant Brady a rehearing.

Statistically speaking, Brady is facing long odds to be given a rehearing, but his legal team believes there's reason for optimism