By Tom E. Curran
Bill Belichick discounted the importance of the Patriots' 45-3 depantsing of the New York Jets in Week 13 during a conference call Sunday afternoon.
War Room: Jets don't pose much of a threat
"I don't think the last game or the first game means a whole lot," said Belichick. "We're ready for a whole new week of preparation. Seems every time you play a team, things go a lot differently. We're not expecting anything other than starting this game off and trying to do a better job than the Jets do next Sunday afternoon."Belichick says he watched the entirety of the Wild Card win by New York over the Colts, calling it a "terrific game." He held off on attacking the theactual preparation until Sunday, though. "I'm not much of a night person," he said. Belichick was pretty chipper last week but the shade has been drawn on that, which you could tell in his tone during the call. You can also tell he relishes the chance to play New York again. "We split with them, now it will be the best two-out-of-three which is probably the way it should be," he said. "We'll find out which team will advance."Given the nature of New York's win over the Colts - a field goal at the gun to win it - Belichick was asked if he expected the Jets to have any additional momentum. "I don't think what happened last week or some game in December . . . will have too much bearing on it," he answered. "What happens between now and kickoff and how the teams perform once the game starts will decide the winner."Belichick said he didn't begin thinking of playing Indy when Adam Vinatieri drilled a go-ahead kick in the final minute.
"In this league, you don't think it's over until the final gun goes off," he warned. "Whether we're playing in a game or we're watching a game.A lot of things happen at the end. That's why ratings are so high. People don't turn off their sets. They want to see how it turns out."There's no mistaking the succinct message Belichick will deliver to his team. Asked what he would tell his rookies they should keep in mind about playoff football, he answered, "If you lose, you go home."That wasfollowed by about 10 seconds of uncomfortable silence.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
This was not asking Tom Brady to choose which one of his kids is his favorite. This was easy.
Asked which of his record-setting 201 wins was most meaningful on WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show, it didn't take long for Brady to come up with a response.
"One win? Probably the Seahawks Super Bowl," he said. "Just because it was so long . . . Three of the first four years I played to win, it was so strange because you almost . . . I don’t want to say you took it for granted, but you took it for granted. Just kind of, 'Yeah, we’re going to be in the playoffs every year, and we’re going to the Super Bowl every year.' It’s like, 'What's the big deal? Our season always ends in February anyway.'
"Then to go that long without winning another one and to realize, 'Man, this is so hard every year.’ [In] ’07 we had an incredible season, and 2010 we had a great year and didn’t win it. [In] 2011 we get to the Super Bowl and didn’t win it. Then ’12 and ’13 and finally to get there in ’14 and win it all again we just and incredible feeling, against a team that I thought was one of the best teams we’ve ever played against."
Brady also turned in one of the best quarterback performances in Super Bowl history that night. He completed 37-of-50 passes for 328 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, and he was at his best in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots overcome a 10-point deficit. He tied Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for most Super Bowl wins by a starting quarterback, and he tied Montana with his third Super Bowl MVP award.
After coming so close for so long, there was no other choice for No. 1 of 201 than Super Bowl XLIX.
"That was probably the one," Brady said, "that sinks in the most when I think about just being . . . It was a great team. It was a great game. It was the biggest moment. Our team came through. That’s my Malcolm's got the truck, man. Thank god for Malcolm Butler."
The congratulatory messages rolled in for Tom Brady following win No. 201 on Sunday. He heard praise from his teammates and coach Bill Belichick and he received a game ball from Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Two of the guys he recently passed on the all-time wins list reached out as well.
Both Brett Favre (199 career wins) and Peyton Manning (200) touched base with the new record-holder after he surpassed the two retired quarterbacks in back-to-back weeks.
Favre posted a video online to show his support for Brady, which Brady saw after a friend sent it his way, he told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show.
"We were in touch this week a few times just with a couple of things that we were talking about football-wise," Brady said of Favre. "We exchanged some text messages, too. He’s a great guy. He’s someone I’ve always looked up to . . . There’s nobody physically or mentally tougher than that guy and endured the streak that he had. It was incredible. I’ve always really looked up to him. It was really cool."
Manning checked in, as he's wont to do, with something a little more traditional.
"I did hear from Peyton. He's someone that I've always been in touch with for a long time. I've known him for 16 years. He sent me a very nice note," Brady said. "I have a lot of respect for him and all that he accomplished, too. He's a great guy. We share a lot of things in common and I just always appreciate him as well."
Kirk and Callahan co-host Gerry Callahan acknowledged that the NFL sent out a tweet recognizing Brady's achievement, but he wondered if Brady had heard anything from commissioner Roger Goodell. Brady laughed when he heard the question initially. When he didn't respond at first, Callahan circled up again.
"I don't hear anything from the league," Brady said.