When asked about the success of this season's draft class, Belichick said he ran the same integration schedule as he has with all his rookie classes.
"I think every year you certainly go through your integration of new players into your team. That process starts in the spring after you draft them," Belichick said. "You?re working with young players there and teaching fundamentals and teaching them the basics of your system, trying to get them to understand their individual techniques, but also the bigger picture of how they have to execute certain plays in their system, but also how they can find a role to fit into your football team."
This season, however, it seems this particular group of players has bought into that system more so than in the past. Belichick's firm regimen founded on discipline and learning from mistakes has definitely permeated into the younger minds on the Patriots' squad.
"Some years you might have a few less rookies or a few more rookies, but you still have to take that group of players and bring them up to a certain level," Belichick said. "But, at the same time, you have new players coming in from other organizations ? along with players that were here previously, so you have to have some way to transition everybody into the same funnel, into the same direction.
"Even though it?s a wide net there that it starts with, it all has to come together as a football team."
This season, the chemistry between the team's youth and veterans has definitely catapulted their success, but Belichick doesn't just credit himself with the team's AFC-leading efforts. The head coach firmly believes it's a collective effort from everyone in the Patriots' organization.
"I think everybody in that locker room from the head coach on down to the assistant coaches, the players and everybody else has a job to do," he said. "It?s up to each and every one of us to do our job as best we can. I think the players that are out there performing deserve the credit for their performance."
Even though the performance of his players has led to the best record in the NFL and a playoff bid, Belichick insists that there are still plenty of improvements to be made amongst the Patriots rookie class.
"I think they [the rookies] still have a long way to go, as a group, but I do think that they?re heading in the right direction and making progress."