BOSTON (CBS) — The last time the Patriots took the field against the Miami Dolphins, things did not go very well for New England.
That may explain Bill Belichick’s mood Wednesday morning when he addressed the media about Sunday’s upcoming tilt against the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.
Belichick seemed a little saltier than normal when hit with a handful of questions about last year’s regular season-ending 20-10 loss to the Dolphins, which kept the Pats from clinching the top seed in the AFC. That meant the AFC Championship Game was held in Denver and not New England, and we all know how that one turned out.
While he brought up last season’s loss to the Dolphins, mention of their relatively conservative approach to that game was not something Belichick wanted to relive.
“The 2015 review, I’m sure you did that. That was great,” Belichick said to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss. “I’m sure you did a great job on it. We’re really past it. We’re on to 2016. We’re playing the Dolphins.
“I’m referencing the game that we competed against them. I’d say that’s relevant,” Belichick said when Reiss explained why he brought up last year’s game plan. “Last time we played that team it didn’t go very well, so I hope we can play them more competitively this year.”
That shouldn’t be too hard, after the Pats averaged just 2.6 yards per carry while Tom Brady completed 12 of his 21 for just 134 yards in that loss. It was an ugly loss, one of four the Patriots suffered in their final six games of the regular season. But while Belichick wasn’t a fan of revisiting that defeat, it does give the head coach an easy way to make sure his players have already moved on from Sunday night’s emotional win over the Arizona Cardinals.
“It’s sickening,” he said of the game tape from Week 17. “Yeah, it doesn’t take long at all. I don’t know if you had a chance to see that or not. It wasn’t very good; bad coaching, bad playing, just bad period.”
Belichick went on to praise Miami’s “disruptive” defense and “explosive” offense, not to mention a talented special teams unit that could cause issues on Sunday. So when he was asked if he had anything to do with the Tom Brady banner at Gillette Stadium coming down during Sunday’s game, the coach didn’t really appreciate the availability’s change of direction.
“We’re talking about Miami,” he replied. “In preparation for Miami, I’ve been talking about Miami and working on Miami. I don’t do concerts, I don’t do banners, I don’t do parking, I don’t do concessions. I just try to coach the team.”
The same can be said when Belichick was asked if he received any trade calls about Jimmy Garoppolo or Tom Brady. The Pats are on to Miami; that’s all that matters right now.
And if you wanted an injury update on Rob Gronkowski, you just have to wait until the first injury report of the week comes out later on Wednesday. But really, if you’ve followed Belichick and the Patriots for the last 17 years, you already knew that.
It may seem like Wednesday’s Belichick press conference was no fun, but there was a brief moment of “Behind The Hoodie” Bill, and it should be no surprise that it came when the coach was asked about having some fun at a Bruce Springsteen concert (The Boss will be performing at Gillette on Wednesday night).
“I’ve seen a few wild Springsteen concerts, yeah,” he said with a grin.
If only it were Bon Jovi gracing Gillette on Wednesday night, maybe Belichick would have been in a better mood. But if he has another wild time at the Springsteen concert, or as wild as Bill gets during the season, maybe he’ll be a bit more chipper come Thursday.