BOSTON (CBS) — Given the constant yapping from the Dolphins two weeks ago in New England, there will likely be even more in-game chatter when the Patriots head to Miami for a Monday night clash.
That means Bill Belichick will have to really keep his team in check and not allow them to partake in any tomfoolery on the field. The head coach said keeping their composure is a big emphasis every week, but admitted it’s something everyone on the roster — and sideline — has to be better at.
“That’s important for us. Yep, that’s important every week. It’s a competitive game,” said Belichick. “There’s a lot of emotion out there. Yeah, as the coach, I’ve got to do a better job of that.”
Things got heated at times between the Pats and Phins in Week 12, with wide receiver Jarvis Landry barking plenty of trash talk from the Miami sideline throughout the contest. Dolphins corner Bobby McCain was ejected in the second half for throwing a punch at Danny Amendola after the two tussled a bit at the bottom of a pile.
Then there was last weekend, when Rob Gronkowski lost his cool in Buffalo and earned a one-game suspension for a cheap and dirty hit to an unsuspecting Tre’Davious White. The Pats will be without Gronkowski against the Dolphins, which didn’t seem to phase Belichick too much on Wednesday.
“We’ll just do what we always do – take the players that we have available and match them up against the great team that Miami has, their defense and how difficult they are to play against and block and move the ball – and try to come up with the best plan that we can to be competitive with them Monday night,” the coach replied when asked how their gameplan will change without their All-Pro tight end.
In light of Gronkowski’s cheap shot and other questionable hits that led to two other one-game suspensions for Pittsburgh’s JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati’s George Iloka in Week 13, Belichick was asked if he believes players are taking a bit of a step back and reflecting on the safety of themselves and their opponents.
“I think the league’s been very proactive on that, and I think the players have respect for each other and have a lot of respect for the game. It’s not perfect, but I think players do that and coaches do, as well,” Belichick said on a conferene call with the Miami media. “Some of the things that happen in the game nobody wants to see. Hopefully they won’t happen again.”