By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Sports can be funny, in that the most remembered quote from a Hall of Fame coach can be as simple as the phrase “We’re on to Cincinnati.”
That’s the comment Bill Belichick made over and over — and over — again prior to the Patriots’ Week 5 dismantling of the Bengals in 2014. They went on to win the Super Bowl, and that comment took on a life of its own.
While the circumstances surrounding the 6-2 Patriots right now are a bit different than the ones surrounding the 2-2 Patriots in 2014, Belichick revived his level of responsiveness when asked about the long-term plans of the franchise regarding the coach and quarterback Tom Brady.
A reporter asked Belichick this question on Wednesday morning: “Coach, we don’t have you on camera since last game. Based on everything that’s transpired since then, is the goal now for you to retire with Tom Brady still serving as your quarterback?”
Belichick’s answer was quick.
“Yeah, the goal right now is to beat Denver,” he said.
The same reporter issued a follow-up: “Forget about that one — last night I saw an unbelievable trailer for a documentary. I was just wondering who do you think over the years has been better at putting the media in its place — you or Bill Parcells?”
After taking a beat to digest the question, Belichick held form.
“Denver’s the target this week,” he said. “I know you’ve got all that other stuff on your mind, but right now I’m just focused on Denver.”
Belichick then deadpanned: “Sorry we can’t connect on that.”
The reporter replied: “You’re good at it, though.”
To which Belichick said: “You’re the best.”
Thus ended the mostly innocuous exchange, which was notably missing from the transcript issued by the team. The team doesn’t typically edit the transcripts, but this exchange nevertheless didn’t make the cut.
Regardless, while it probably won’t become a phenomenon unto itself the way the “On To Cincinnati” quotes did, we at least know that Belichick keeps the same steady mind-set week in and week out.