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."
Patriots safety Duron Harmon joined the show on Monday to discuss their win over Pittsburgh in the AFCCG. Harmon was asked about his tackle on Jesse James on the half yard line, and he revealed to the guys he wasn't thinking much about it, but that the defense has wanted the chance to make a goal line stand since they did it against Cincinnati earlier in the season.
Patriots running back Dion Lewis joined the show to discuss how it feels to be headed to the Super Bowl for the first time in his career, his recovery from a serious injury in 2015, and how LeGarrette Blount fired up the sidelines by carrying half the Steelers on his back.
Glenn Ordway and Fred Smerlas talk with Cornerback Malcolm Butler in the lockerroom after the Patriots handily beat the Pittsburgh to advance to Super Bowl 51.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Rob Bradford is joined by Jackie Bradley Jr. to discuss race in baseball and in Boston, along with the importance of Martin Luther King Day. The Red Sox outfielder also dives into how he never really felt comfortable in a major league clubhouse until last year, the approach he's taking heading into 2017, and why he's not playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour 4. Kirk and Gerry discuss how players from bad teams can come to New England and win.
Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.
Tim Hasselbeck joins the show.
The guys open the show discussing the Patriots 36-17 win over Steelers in the AFCCG, and if that win helped answer some questions the critics had all year about the Patriots defense.
Last week, there was a lot of talk about Aaron Rodgers and his other-worldly performances down the stretch and into the playoffs. On Sunday, he was blown out by the Falcons, and sent home packing. The guys discuss the rise and fall of Aaron Rodgers' season, and also get into the Falcons offense, and how the Patriots defense might stack up.
Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis, Kyle Van Noy, and Trey Flowers are just a few of the reasons why Bill Belichick should be credited more as a great GM, in addition to his accolades as a great head coach.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe spend the day discussing the AFC Championship.
We close out the work week with the best sound clips of the day.
We check in with hall of famer Michael Irvin to find out what happened to his Dallas Cowboys and look at the remaining playoff match-ups.
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap a Patriots Monday after a Patriots AFC Title game win and a Tom Brady appearance with Kirk & Gerry.
Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.
Tom Brady joins the show the morning after winning the AFC championship for the seventh time. Brady talks about the upcoming Super Bowl and his call to President Donald Trump.More from this show
Hour 1. The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, which means Kirk and Gerry are going to Houston. Tom Brady joins the show.More from this show
Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.More from this show
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.More from this show