Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley to discuss the Patriots’ 30-7 win over the Vikings. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley on demand page.
With the win in hand, Belichick became the seventh head coach in league history to win 200 games. Belichick credited those he was able to coach as he reached the landmark win total.
“That means I coached a lot of good players, that’s what that means,” Belichick said. “Those guys are the ones that win them. They go out there and they’re the ones who make the plays. I’ve been very fortunate to coach a lot of great players.”
Continued Belichick: “When I got into coaching, it certainly wasn’t for the money. It was because I enjoyed the game and the competitiveness of it and all that goes with football. Twenty-five dollars a week, that isn’t why you do it. But things have worked out well financially since then, so I have no complaints about that. But that’s not why I got into it. As a head coach you just try and have the best year you can have each year. I don’t think in 1991 I was thinking about 2014. I probably wasn’t thinking about 1993 too much either. I was probably thinking about 1991. That’s kind of what our job is, year to year and week to week. So right now I’m just thinking about Oakland.”
The absence of running back Adrian Peterson from Sunday’s game forced the Vikings rely on backup tailbacks. Belichick said the change did not affect the Patriots’ defensive scheme in any way.
“They still have good quality backs,” Belichick said. “I think that Norv [Turner], the system that he runs is still pretty much his system. I think it would have been no different if a player got hurt on the first series or first quarter of the game. They would probably do what they would kind of normally do with the other 10 guys. It’s really hard to change an entire offense or defense when one guy goes out. It’s easier to try and replace whoever that person is and work around it the best you can.”
Unlike Week 1 against the Dolphins, the Patriots ran the ball effectively against the Minnesota defense. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen combined to rush for 141 yards for the game.
“It’s easy to commit to something when it’s going fairly well,” Belichick said of the ground game. “When you’re averaging two yards a carry, it’s hard to stay committed to it. You got to out there and gain yards. If you’re gaining yards it’s a lot easier to continue to do that. The score certainly played into the situation, so we were able to hand the ball off more. We were gaining more with our run game.”
Chandler Jones had one of the highlights of the game, blocking and running back a Blair Walsh field goal attempt for a touchdown. Belichick noted the play was one the entire staff should get credit for.
“It was a good team play, a real good combination of a good scheme from (special teams coach Scott O’Brien) and assistant special teams coach Joe Judge), and a good execution by the players,” Belichick said. “Chandler had good space that was created by his teammates and Chandler did a good job of coming through and flattening down the line and getting in front of the guard, not running up the field, but getting in front of the guard where the ball was in flight. He was able to get his hands up and made a great play on the scoop and score.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
On West Coast teams having to play 1:00 p.m. ET games on the East Coast, as the Raiders will do when visiting the Patriots on Sunday: “For every long week, there’s a short week. For every long trip, there’s a short trip. It all evens out in the end the way the schedule’s set up. Sooner or later the East Coast plays on the West Coast, the West Coast plays on the East Coast. It all evens out. Every time we talk about a short week, there’s somewhere along the lines a long week to make up for it. And all the other teams have the pretty much the same deal.”
On getting the game ball after the game from owner Robert Kraft: “Honestly I kind of lost track of all that. When [Kraft] started to make the presentation, I wasn’t really sure what he was doing. I started to make the presentation and I realized it was about me. It’s very flattering to be listed with those other great coaches. I’ve been very fortunate to coach a lot of good players.”
On his very first win as an NFL head coach and coaching the Browns in his first year, which was a 20-0 win over the Patriots: “We weren’t a very good team. No lead was really safe, too safe with us.”