Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots are back where they like to be — sitting pretty with a first-round bye as the NFL playoffs get underway this weekend. The Pats will take the week off to prepare for whoever they land in the divisional playoffs, but that doesn’t change things much for Belichick’s quarterback, Tom Brady, whom Belichick says isn’t heavily involved in game planning.
Bill Belichick joined The Big Show on WEEI in Boston to discuss the team’s strong performance against Miami in Week 17, the return of Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady’s involvement in offensive game plans.
On the importance of playing well in Week 17:
“It’s always good to play well. I don’t think there’s a lot of carryover from one week to the next, good or bad. It’s a new week, it’s a new matchup and all new challenges. But it’s good to see the preparation and hard work from the week and from the practice field transfer over to the game. … That’s the biggest thing for us.”
On Rob Gronkowski’s performance and playing time coming back from a broken forearm:
“We didn’t really have any set number of plays for him. But you know, we got him in the game in a few situations on third down in the right area and things like that. It was good to have him back out there and I think he’s continuing to make progress.”
On how much input Tom Brady has in the offense:
“Some, certainly. I think the key thing for most players, I’d say pretty much all players, is to be able to just think about what they have to do. Hear the play, go out there and think about what are the options on this play or what adjustments will I have to make on this play. And then go out there and be aggressive and do it. And for a quarterback sometimes it’s a either/or play, a check-with-me play, a run this way or a run that way based on the defensive look. That kind of thing. But my experience with players has been it’s hard when you just kind of give them the whole playbook or let a quarterback call plays or give a defensive signal caller four or five different options. … Sometimes you either end up getting nothing done right or the communication is a struggle for them to get all 11 guys on the same page when you’re trying to get into the perfect defense or the perfect offensive play. Do we talk about things during the week? Sure, I think you do that with any quarterback and Tom has great input because of his experience in the system and also his natural football instincts and understanding the game and what he can do and what some of our teammates can do. … At the same time, I think Tom really prefers to just go out there and get the play and go out there and run it and get it executed well. And then he can just concentrate on that and not try to game plan and call plays and all that. So there’s a little bit of a balance in there.”