Bill Belichick isn’t sticking his nose in this fight.
While the rest of sports-loving creation is debating the merits of a non-call at the end of Monday night’s Patriots-Panthers game, Belichick chose not to offer an opinion on the lack of a penalty when talking to reporters Tuesday. Belichick, who said Monday night that he was not given an explanation and did not press for one, deferred to the officials’ final decision again.
“It’s not really our job to call the game, it’s to play it and coach it,” Belichick said. “Whatever calls they make are the ones that we live with. We can’t let that affect what we’re doing. We just have to do continue to coach the techniques and do the things that are right and within the rules and assume that they’ll be officiated accordingly. … It doesn’t matter what I think. It’s whatever the officials think is the only thing that matters. It doesn’t matter what any of us think. They’re the ones who make the calls. It’s their explanation and their judgment that we all have to abide by.”
The officials ultimately decided that Rob Gronkowski was not the victim of pass interference or holding despite Luke Kuechly hugging him in the end zone on the final play of the game. While quarterback Tom Brady and others were upset about a penalty not being called, Belichick instead deferred attention to the rest of the game.
“It was a highly competitive game,” he said. “It was a good football game. I’m proud of the way our team fought from the beginning to the end. Came down to a handful of plays that, you know, I’d say, that ultimately probably decided the game. They just had a few more of them than we did. We have to do a better job of taking advantage of our opportunities.”
Belichick said the Patriots could have executed better in the red zone, but he lauded the team’s “competitiveness” as the game remained close.