What they're saying: Belichick credits years in Cleveland for shaping team-building philosophy

What they're saying: Belichick credits years in Cleveland for shaping team-building philosophy

BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota -- Bill Belichick has spent his entire adult life around professional football, but he pointed to a handful of years spent in Cleveland as having a significant impact on his team-building philosophy. 

While Belichick has the opportunity to join George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only two coaches to win six championships, his job description involves more than coaching the Patriots. Since his arrival in 2000, he's also been the final decision-maker on personnel moves. His time with the Browns, from 1991-1995, he says, allowed him to develop the system that's now served him well in New England. 

"I'd say a lot of that was really developed in Cleveland with Mike Lombardi," Belichick said Thursday. "We put the scouting department together there when Ernie [Adams] left, [along with] Dom Anile, who was our director of college scouting. 

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"But Mike and I, with the help of a great scouting staff like Jim Schwartz, were there and coaches like coach [Nick] Saban, coach [Scott] O'Brien because our coaches had a lot of influence in the scouting system. We put that together over the course of that time in Cleveland. 

"Not speaking for Nick, but I know in talking to Nick, I know that a lot of the principles that we developed there he's used and certainly modified, and we've done that as well. Scouting systems, scouting grades, grading players and certain characteristics and how to put those characteristics . . . how to grade, how to note them, how to put some kind of a value on them and organize it, that was developed, all of it was developed for me in Cleveland, Mike and the people on his staff. 

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"With the Giants, we had a system that was set up that there was some relevance to, but what we did in Cleveland was different than that. Certainly what we do now is a lot different from what the Giants . . . I learned a lot from being with the Giants for 12 years and the way they approached evaluation of players, but in Cleveland we kind of took things from a lot of different angles. 

"Mike's personnel angle. Nick had a lot of input defensively. I had a lot of input in the whole process. Scott on special teams, Ernie on offense. Ernie was pretty involved with the draft when he was with the Patriots [from 1975-1978]. So we took a lot of those grading principles and put them all together and rewrote the scouting book the grading book in Cleveland, and then we did it again when we came to New England."

Here are some other tidbits from Patriots media availability on Thursday . . . 

Belichick on his scouting report of Bill Belichick the Wesleyan University football player: "Got a long way to go, buddy. Maybe you outta try coaching. Quite a few people told me that, actually. That's probably good advice. I got that from a couple of coaches. Football and lacrosse. 'Got a better career in coaching than you'll have in playing.' "

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Devin McCourty on cracking the code to get Belichick to sing your praises: "The key is to make sure you don't get fired each day you come to work. I think that mentality has served me well. Just trying to do my job, and help the younger guys as I've grown older on the team."

Tom Brady on encouraging his teammates on the sidelines, particularly when they're behind: "Lotta times I try to tell our team, 'Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes. Don't ever let up. Don't ever let your mind drift to a place where you lose a certain level of belief.' I believe, until the clock runs out, it's never over. I've been in a lot of those situations in my career, and anything can happen. We've been down 11 with two minutes left. We've been down obviously last year in this game by a big margin. You don't want to be in those positions, but if you are, you play until the end."


Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

File Photo

Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

Julian Edelman is grinding.

The New England Patriots receiver, who is recovering from an ACL repair surgery that ended his 2017 season, shared a quick video from his workout on Tuesday. Edelman is shown running with a resistance band and a trainer in-tow.

Edelman has posted a few tidbits on social media to show encouraging signs during his recovery since he got surgery in October after suffering an ACL tear in a preseason game. He was spotted around the locker room a few times during the final weeks of the 2017 season.

"Rehab is a [expletive]. It sucks," Edelman said in November on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take podcast." "You go in and you’re feeling decent and then you warm up, you beat it up and then you get stiff again. I mean it’s just a process and you go in six days a week and you’re going into work it, work on everything — your flexion, your extension."

Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

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Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

Steelers tight end Jesse James is glad the Patriots' Super Bowl pursuit is done -- mostly because he played a big part in helping accelerate it.

In the final moments of the game, James failed to catch the ball during a Week 15 contest between the Steelers and the Patriots. The non-catch was a controversial one.

James told Centre Daily Times' Josh Moyer he finally felt relief on the morning after the Super Bowl when the Patriots fell to the Eagles, 41-33.

“I don’t feel like I gave them a Super Bowl with that,” James told the Daily Times. “So I’m over it now, but it’s going to be a topic of conversation until the rule gets changed — or it doesn’t.”

James' play was initially ruled a touchdown before the referees overturned the play, and took the lead away from the Steelers in the final moments of the game. Ben Roethlisberger then threw an interception a few plays later. By winning, the Patriots took a huge step in locking themselves into the AFC's top seed with a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which they rode into the Super Bowl.

But of course, they couldn't finish their Super Bowl pursuit -- to James' satisfaction.