FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — From now through the end of the season, if New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media at Gillette Stadium, you’ll read about it here. We’ll highlight one lesson learned from each of Belichick’s news conferences and have it ready for you right away.
The Setup: Part of the lore of the Patriots-Jets rivalry has to do with the amount of players who have cycled between the teams. Earlier this preseason, the Patriots waived quarterback Kevin O’Connell, who was claimed by the Detroit Lions, who then traded him to the Jets. It was speculated that Jets head coach Rex Ryan wanted O’Connell to learn a little more about the Patriots’ system. Even though Ryan shot down that claim during an earlier news conference, the conspiracy still holds some water. With that, Belichick was asked how much a team can really learn from a player in that type of a situation, or if it’s really just an overrated aspect.
What Belichick Said: “I’d say it’s probably overrated. Certainly, you could pick somebody who has been in the system for a long time, you could pick up something that would be helpful. Probably some of that information, especially with teams like this that are in the same division that have played each other for quite awhile and know each other pretty well, I don’t know how much new information is really coming out of there in something like that.”
What It Means: Belichick’s response was pretty cut and dry. While the question wasn’t directly related to O’Connell, whose name wasn’t ever brought up in the news conference, Belichick believes opposing coaching staffs already have enough knowledge at hand to understand another team’s tendencies. O’Connell might be able to give some tips to Ryan and Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, but it won’t be enough to change the outcome of the game.