FOXBORO (CBS) — On Tuesday Bill Belichick held a conference call to update everybody on the upcoming weekend. The Pats have clinched the division and secured a bye. They are the number one seed in the AFC. These are some of the topics coach touched on.
Following up on the flu. With multiple members of the team hit by the flu, Belichick was asked about players getting shots to help combat that from striking the club. After reminding that he is not a doctor, Belichick explained that there are different types of the flu (e.g. a 24-hour bug) and that the “[flu] word kind of gets tossed around with a lot of different meanings.” Reading between the lines, it sounded like the flu-like symptoms that slowed some members of the team could not have been avoided simply by having a shot.
Welker injury possibly altering his mindset? Belichick was asked if receiver Wes Welker’s injury in the season finale last year has changed his mindset when deciding what is in the best interest of the team for this year’s finale. He answered by saying that a lot of factors are taken into consideration. While it didn’t sound like Belichick has made any type of philosophical shift, his message seemed to be that dynamics are ever-changing and the situation is seldom black and white.
Assessing Zoltan Mesko’s body of work. Rookie Zoltan Mesko ranks 10th in the NFL in net punting and Belichick was asked about his season to date. Belichick said Mesko’s plus-50 punting has been a strong suit, which is reflected in his total of 18 punts downed inside the 20, against 5 touchbacks. Belichick views situational punting and some of the other aspects that come with the position — such as placement and protection — as areas that Mesko has improved on and can continue to master. “I think he’s definitely made some progress,” Belichick said. “He’s more consistent than he was earlier in the year. [He] still has a ways to go. He’s got good potential for his position. If he continues to work hard and apply himself and be diligent on a daily basis so he can have that consistency, then yeah, I think he’s got a chance to be a good, solid player.”