Bill Belichick Shrugs Off Hot Topics Entering Patriots-Jaguars Matchup


FOXBORO, Mass. — If you woke up Wednesday morning hoping New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would wax poetic on how playoff experience helps decide postseason matchups, you were sorely disappointed by early afternoon.

Same goes if you wanted Belichick’s thoughts on bulletin-board material or Tom Coughlin’s influence on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Belichick wasn’t in the mood to discuss any of the hot topics entering Sunday’s AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and Jaguars during his first news conference of the week.

The Jaguars’ collective roster has played in just seven career conference championship games. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is about to play in his 12th AFC Championship Game. Belichick doesn’t think experience will be a factor Sunday.

“I have never talked about experience so I don?t really think it is a relevant conversation,” Belichick said Wednesday. “I think the team that plays well on Sunday, that will be the team that is victorious. I don?t think experience has anything to do with that.”

Belichick said experience means nothing, “Because we are talking about how the teams are going to compete on Sunday. That is what is going to determine the winner in that competition. It is what happens Sunday, not what happened last year, two years ago, five years ago, 15 years ago, 1996 or whatever it is. Those games don?t make any difference, with all due respect.”

Coughlin is the Jaguars’ executive vice president of football operations. He’s a primary topic of conversation this week because he beat the Patriots in two Super Bowls as head coach of the New York Giants. Belichick was asked his thoughts on Coughlin bringing along the Jaguars this season.

“I don?t know,” Belichick said. “I look at the team, and it is a strong team. As I said, they are good in every area. Whoever is doing exactly what down there, you would have to talk to them about that. I don?t know. I just know what I see on the field, and it is a very good product. I am sure they are all contributing to it.”

He was asked a follow-up about the traits and characteristics of a Coughlin-led team.

“That’s a tough question to answer,” Belichick said. “Doug (Marrone) is the head coach and I think he’s done a great job down there with that team. What exact role Tom has, you would have to talk to them. I don’t know.”

The Patriots have steered clear of bulletin-board material this week, which is probably smart. The Jaguars seemed to feed off of it in their matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

So, has Belichick reminded his team not to say anything the Jaguars could use as motivation?

“What we need to do this week is have our best week of preparation and go out and play our best game on Sunday,” Belichick said. “That is really what we need to do. Hopefully, we will be able to do that.”

Belichick did praise the Jaguars heavily during his presser.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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