BOSTON (CBS) — In the weeks and months that followed the Patriots’ unbelievable Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks, it came to light that the Patriots practiced with meticulous detail the exact type of play that led to Malcolm Butler’s game-saving interception at the goal line. As it turns out, the effort for the team to be in position to make such a play extended back even further than the week of practice leading up to the game.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss shared some bullet-point notes from Michael Lombardi’s forthcoming book, “Gridiron Genius,” in his weekly column. Included in those notes was some commentary from Lombardi on the Patriots’ preparation for the 2014 postseason. (Lombardi was an assistant to the coaching staff that season in New England.) As Reiss explained:
The book begins in a Patriots meeting room in the offseason heading into the 2014 Super Bowl campaign. Lombardi recalls Belichick citing the need for better goal-line defense, which of course, would come in handy at the end of Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks.
That type of focus on goal-line defense likely played a role in the Patriots’ efforts during the week of the Super Bowl to really hone in on a play that defensively needed some work. The results speak for themselves.
The nugget serves as just another example of the level of preparation that has become a calling card of the Belichick era, during which the Patriots have enjoyed an unparalleled level of success.
Bill Belichick wrote the foreword for Lombardi’s book, which will be released in September.