A very smiley, very relaxed Bill Belichick showed his softer side Tuesday night at the Patriots Premier, the organization’s largest fundraiser, in front of a red carpet crowd that had no problem shelling out big dough for auction events that included a film session with the Patriots Head Coach for you and seven of your best friends.
After some kind remarks about the charitable work the Kraft family has done, Belichick focused on the reason why it was probably hardest to get him to spend a couple hours on the Gillette Stadium turf in a suit and tie: his team.
“We’ve got quite a bit going on with formation of the team and preseason game in two nights, then the early start against the Steelers, but it’s a good situation to be in,” he said. “We’re all excited. The players have worked incredibly hard through the offseason, all spring, in training camp; they’ve been pushed hard. It’s been warm, the conditioning levels are good, and I think we’ll be ready to go when the time starts. We’re not there yet, but we’ll work hard to get there.”
It’s a message Belichick has delivered before, but this year is obviously a little different than what’s transpired in recent history. This year, the Pats are the reigning Super Bowl champions. But Belichick doesn’t view it that way, at least not publicly.
“There is never anything to defend,” he said. “What we accomplished last year, that banner will always fly, will always be up there. This team - this 2015 team - will write it’s own book, we’ll have our own chapters, our own story. It’s not about what somebody else, or what some other team did or didn’t do, or whatever did or didn’t happen in the past. It will be about what we accomplish this year collectively. That’s our challenge, our opportunity. That’s what we’re all looking forward to.”
Belichick also acknowledged the NFL Network’s upcoming piece on the team entitled “Do Your Job,” which will air September 9th at 8 p.m. The special airs one night before the Pats open the regular season at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and will feature something rare in these parts, the assistant coaches and support staff actually getting an opportunity to speak.
“A quick shoutout to the coaches,” said Belichick when talking about the program. “It will be a great opportunity for you and the fans to see the job the coaching staff does. Sometimes I get a lot of credit for really not doing all that much. They’re the ones that do a lot of the work. They set the table, working individually with the players. I’m fortunate to have a great staff - assistant coaches, strength coaches, special teams, a couple great coordinators - they just do a tremendous job along with our entire scouting staff, Nick (Caserio) and his group. I think you’ll get to see some of those people and I’m sure that will be interesting for you. I can’t thank them enough for all the support and help that they give me on a daily basis. I certainly couldn’t do it without 'em so thank you.”