Patriots coach Bill Belichick, in his weekly interview on WEEI's The Big Show, said that coaches have to be "careful" about making decisions about selective substitutions for players late in the game. He suggested that he's uncomfortable trying to protect some players from injury in the later stages of a game but leaving others on the field.
"I don't think that's really a good way to approach a team. I've never done that. I don't think that would be a very successful approach to it," said Belichick. "You only have so many players. You only dress so many players. Somebody's got to play. I think you've got to be careful when you're trying to run a team, to go up to one guy and say, 'Michael, we're going to leave you in the game because we care about you, but Glenn, we're going to take you out because you're really important. You other guys go in there because if something happens to you, we don't really care.'
"Again, I think football players play football. I don't know how, you tell me which guy is going to get hurt and I'll get him out of there. I don't know how you do that."
Belichick discussed why tight end Rob Gronkowski was not on the field for the Patriots' last scoring drive of the game but was part of the protection team while New England attempted its point after touchdown.
"I think in terms of Rob, the end of the game gave us an opportunity to play [Visanthe] Shiancoe, who didn't play for half the season. He had an opportunity to get some more reps," said Belichick. "Some guys that had less playing time, it was a good opportunity to get them in there. I didn't see anything wrong with that.
"At the same time, I can just hear it now, if somebody else was in at wing [on the point after attempt] who wasn't used to playing for the field goal team, a guy came around the edge and dove in there, somebody, the holder or kicker got torn up, it would have been, 'Why was he in there? Why wouldn't you go with the same guys doing it the whole game?' We can play that game all day. As long as you know what the results are, then you always have the right argument," he added. "But, like I said, players are prepared to play for 60 minutes. The game is 60 minutes long. If you can take a guy out or want to take a guy out for a reason, you can do that, but guys have got to play."
There are realities, Belichick said, that require keeping players on the field even late in lopsided games.
"You play the game. Then, if there's a certain point where you want to change the way you're playing it, then you can make those changes, whichever ones you can make," said Belichick. "As an example, the offensive line -- there's seven offensive lineman. You can't take five guys out and put two in. Somebody's got to play. Somebody's got to play receiver. Somebody's got to carry the ball. Somebody's got to do everything. However you manage that, not saying you can't do it, but you've got to give it some thought. It's not like college, where you've got 100 guys standing on the sidelines and you put in a whole new group of guys. That's not really realistic in the National Football League."
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing who was lying yesterday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.More from this show
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
After his emotional reaction on NFL Live following Tom Brady's press conference yesterday, Mark Brunell joins Lou, Christian and Tim about all things Deflate GateMore from this show
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty HurneyMore from this show