It's a two-way street for Belichick

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It's a two-way street for Belichick

FOXBORO -- If you're wondering what goes through Bill Belichick's mind when he moves offensive players to the defensive side of the ball, well, he'll tell you. The Patriots coach was pretty open on Friday when talking about making those moves.

Belichick has taken two wide receivers and used them as defensive backs in the Patriots' last two games: Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater. And while Belichick never specifically came out and named them, he did discuss the thought process of a coach -- at any level -- when moving offensive players to the defensive side of the ball or vice versa.

"At whatever point a coach takes a player from offense and puts him on defense, there is usually a reason for that. I would say the reason usually is that hes not enough of a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. What coach is going to take your best playmaker and put him on defense? You just wouldnt do that, all the things being equal.

"You get a guy who is big and strong and tough, but hes just not elusive enough runner, he just cant run over everybody, you can run over guys that are smaller than you but at some point when everybody is the same size, you just cant run over those guys and he doesnt have the elusiveness then you put him over on defense and you get a more elusive running back. "

Clearly, Edelman and Slater aren't New England's best offensive playmakers. The Patriots have many of those.

But perhaps Belichick's thoughts on moving offensive players to defense gives us even more of an answer as to why he's decided to give Edelman and Slater a shot on defense the last few weeks.

"Whether thats at high school, college or wherever it is, and I tell the defensive players all the time, Dont kid yourself. If you were a big enough playmaker, you would have stayed on offense. Either at the high school or the college level they would have put you out there and youd be out there having 100 yard receiving game or 150 yard rushing games. Youd be doing that. Dont kid yourself,' " said Belichick.

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

NEW ORLEANS -- There will be a significant faction of Celtics Nation who will see DeMarcus Cousins’ trade to New Orleans as a lost opportunity for the C's, who could have offered a much more enticing trade package than the one the Sacramento Kings accepted.
 
The Kings received nothing even remotely close to a king’s ransom for Cousins, acquiring him in exchange for rookie Buddy Hield, journeyman Langston Galloway and ex-Pelican Tyreke Evans (who has never been the same since his Rookie of the Year season in 2010), along with a protected first-round pick and a future second-round selection.

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While the knee-jerk reaction is to focus on why Boston decided to not pursue a trade for Cousins, more important is what the non-decision means for the moment and going forward.
 
Think about what the Celtics have done in the last three-plus seasons.
 
They went from being a lottery team to one that has the second-best record in the East. They're holding the potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft; at worst, the pick will be in the top four or five. They have three of the most team-friendly contracts (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder) in the NBA. They have promising prospects overseas as well as in the D-League. And they're led by a coach who has improved his coaching acumen -- and the team’s win total -- every year he's been on the job.
 
And it's all enveloped by a culture with a high level of selflessness, which has created a locker-room environment that has been more about fighting for each other than fighting one another or others off the court.
 
Do you really think Cousins’ talent would have trumped the baggage he'd be bringing to the Celtics if they'd acquired him?
 
For him to have fit in with this team would have required him to make the kind of changes that, frankly, I just don’t see him being capable of making at this point.
 
On more than one occasion, “not fitting in” with the Celtics culture was given to me as the reason why a Cousins-to-Boston trade never gained any traction with the team’s brass. Or coaching staff, for that matter.
 
While there's no denying that he's arguably the best center in the NBA, Cousins is a high-risk, high-reward talent that makes sense to pursue if you're a franchise which has nothing to lose by adding him to the mix. Like, say, New Orleans.
 
The Pelicans are 11th in the Western Conference despite having Anthony Davis, who has been asked to carry the weight of a franchise that has yet to figure out the best combination of talent to surround him with and find success.
 
The addition of Cousins not only provides Davis some major help, but serves as a reminder of just how desperate the Pelicans are.
 
While there are mixed reports on whether the package of assets the Kings agreed to was the best they could have received for Cousins, there was no way they were going to get anything close to comparable talent in exchange for him.
 
And that was solely due to the risk that any team was willing to take on in order to acquire him.
 
At some point, the Celtics need to take advantage of an opportunity to go all-in for a superstar player. But this was not that time, or that player.