Belichick: 'League wants to eliminate kickoffs'

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Belichick: 'League wants to eliminate kickoffs'

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - The new rule moving kickoffs up to the 35-yard line from the 30 is generating a lot of conversation. And it should. Those 15 feet could change things pretty drastically in terms of strategy, scoring and even personnel. We'll get into more of the kickoff nuts-and-bolts later, but for now, it was interesting to hear Bill Belichick state unequivocally that the league wants kickoffs to disappear. When a question was posed saying, "If the intention of the league is to almost eliminate kickoffs . . ."
"That's what they told us," Belichick interrupted. "I'm not speaking for anyone else. That's what they told us, that they want to eliminate the play."UPDATE: NFL spokesman Greg Aiello responded to Belichick's comments in an email."(Chairman of the Competition Committee) Rich McKay and (NFL Vice President) Ray Anderson say thats not accurate," Aiello wrote. "They said the Competition Committees position was that they wanted to 'shorten the field' and that the movement of the kickoff line would potentially reduce the number of kickoffs to be returned. They said they are unaware of anyone saying that it was intended to 'eliminate' the kickoff return."Belichick predicted that the expected reduction in returned kicks will make teams mull their roster decisions differently. "If, instead of covering 60 kickoffs in a year you think you're only gonna be covering 30, then is that coverage player as important, or -- on the flip side of it -- is the return game?" he asked. "If you're going to be returning 30 instead of 60, are the guys who block on the kickoff return(as important).If you think you're gonna be returning more punts than kickoffs (there's a decision to weigh). Usually you're going to be returning more kickoffs than puntsbutif you think you'll bereturning more punts than kickoffs, then maybe you put more of a priority on your punt returner than your kickoff returner."The league's been tweaking its kickoff return rules for the past few seasons thanks to the calamitous injuries that occur when coverage teams have taken a 50-yard running start and crashed into members of the return team. This rule is the most drastic. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Brady on the effectiveness of Belichick's approach: 'You're brainwashed'

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Brady on the effectiveness of Belichick's approach: 'You're brainwashed'

During his weekly interview with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show, Tom Brady highlighted the thought process that has helped make the Patriots such a successful team under Bill Belichick, and in the process of complimenting his boss, Brady also may have taken a little inadvertent shot at the Steelers. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin noted immediately after the Divisional Round that the Patriots had an advantage in preparing for the AFC title game because they had more time to rest.

"I would say in general on our team we have a sign on our wall that says, ‘Doing the right thing for the team when it might not be the right thing for you.’ That’s just putting everything aside," Brady said. "Ignoring the noise, the positive things people may be saying about you, or the negative things people may say about you. Just believing in yourself and not making excuses.

"There’s always an excuse you can build into why you lose a game. 'We’re only playing on six days rest, we have this person hurt, or we didn’t get that call.' There are a million of them, and they’re all built in and you can pick them all off before the game. I think our coach does a great job of never buying into the B.S. He never makes it about one player. He never makes it about one play. He never makes it about one call, or one situation. It’s all about all of us collectively trying to do the best thing we can for the team to try and help us win. He never lets his foot off the gas pedal so when it comes to our team, you’re brainwashed. That’s just the way it goes."

The numbers support Belichick's approach: He'll be coaching in a 10th Super Bowl, and seven of those have come as the head coach of the Patriots. Both are NFL records.

Boomer Esiason hopes Tom Brady writes a book about his true feelings for Roger Goodell

Boomer Esiason hopes Tom Brady writes a book about his true feelings for Roger Goodell

Boomer Esiason talks with Toucher and Rich about Tom Brady and the Patriots "dancing around" the issue of winning this season following the suspension, and he would love to see a book in the future