In the build-up to his team's season-opener, Bill Belichick said that you can't know too much about what you have in a football team until mid-October. Judging by the reaction in the Patriots locker room following their 23-21 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday night, though, it looks like Belichick's club learned something about itself in the win.
Players, coaches and members of the Kraft family were all celebrating gleefully in the visitor's locker room after the game. It's a sight fans can take in for themselves over at Patriots.com.
One of the most noteworthy moments of the video linked above was after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was awarded the game ball and took it upon himself to break down the team.
"This was a great team win, man," Garoppolo said. "Let's build off it for next week. Let's go."
After the din had died down, Belichick approached Garoppolo for a congratulatory embrace.
"Good job, man," Belichick said. "Great job. That's a tough place to play. That's a tough place to play."
Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft was nearby waiting with some encouraging words of his own.
"Proud of you, man," Kraft said. "You stayed cool."
In his address to the team, Belichick emphasized the behind-the-scenes work the Patriots did in preparing for their first game of the regular season. It's a message that's sure to be shared with players yet again as they prepare to host division-rival Miami for their home-opener at Gillette Stadium.
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"Great job, men," Belichick said. "Situational football. Making the plays we had to make at the end. That was a good job. That's the way to come down here and get the job done. I'm telling you, we won the game in the meeting room, on the practice field, in the walkthroughs, all through the week. It just didn't happen today. It happened all through the week. That was a great job."