The time for the talk has just about ended. The New England Patriots will open the regular season this Sunday, September 12 at 4:25pm against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. With preparations nearing their completion, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed the media on Friday morning.
Belichick began stating that the team would be practicing inside Gillette Stadium on Friday. The session would focus heavily on situational work, as the team looks to “tie it all together” in preparing for the Dolphins arrival in Foxboro on Sunday.
Here are some additional highlights from Belichick’s Friday morning media meet:
On his reflections on Saturday’s 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks:
“It’s a solemn day for all of us throughout the country, obviously. We [2001 Patriots] were game planning on that day (Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001) and we found out about it just like everyone else. Here in New England, with Joe’s (Andruzzi) ties to it, it hit is all hard. For me, having spent time in New York [with the Giants, Jets], I had some personal ties to that area, as well. For the country as a whole, it brought a great deal of patriotism and unity, from a tremendously tragic situation. “
Role of football played in 9/11 recovery, specifically the 2001 Patriots team [being the eventual Super Bowl Champions];
“Honestly, we were so deep in the middle of it, I’m not sure if I can answer that. We won so many close games that year. They were all tough games. Not sure if I really have a global perspective on how football or our team helped the country. From a team standpoint, the support of New England fans was tremendous. It had a positive impact on us.
On Week One ‘unknowns’ from their opponents:
“Week one always has the most unknowns. All teams have plays, schemes, formations that they have been working on…and you might see some unique things that they [opponents] have prepared just for you…and also some things that will give an indication on how they will play this season. And you also learn a lot about your own team. While teams will show their hand a bit this weekend, there is still a lot to learn in week one. We have to be ready and we will be.”
On the kicker position, and the value of having the choice between Nick Folk and Quinn Nordin:
“There is a lot of merit to it, because Nick [Folk] is on the practice squad. And the game day elevations give us options. Right now, there is certainly more flexibility and I feel that we have two good kickers combined on our total roster. That is a good thing to have.”
On the offense’s responsibility of identifying the MIKE (middle linebacker on defense) and setting the points;
“Ultimately, you want everyone on the same page. It could be a combination of both [quarterback and center] The key is having everyone on the same page, that is the most important thing. The problem is that some players dont see it the same way, and that’s where the problems come in. We stress the importance of picking it up and playing your assignment. If there is any uncertainty or miscommunication, it leads to bad things happening.”