We're less than halfway into the 2017 season, but Bill Belichick has already put together two of the more entertaining "Belichick Breakdowns" in recent memory on Patriots.com. He's having some fun with these, it seems.
Following his team's last-minute win over the Texans in Week 3, he highlighted an in-game adjustment made by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels that took advantage of a brief conversation had by a pair of Houston defensive backs. After beating the Bucs last week, one of his favorite plays from the game prompted him to take a quick trip down memory lane.
Belichick first broke down a second-quarter punt return by Danny Amendola that went for 40 yards, explaining that "it always starts with getting the gunners and handling the ball." One Tampa Bay gunner was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty as he ran out of bounds down the field in pursuit of Amendola, adding onto what was already a good gain helped by blocks from Jonathan Jones, Johnson Bademosi, Patrick Chung, Jordan Richards.
"There's actually some organization," Belichick said, "to the chaos that's going on."
It reminded Belichick of the punt return that Troy Brown took back for a touchdown in Pittsburgh during the 2001 AFC Championship Game.
On the snap prior to Brown's touchdown, the opposition had a player run out of bounds on a punt without being touched -- much like in Tampa -- which backed the Steelers up five yards and forced them to re-kick. On the subsequent punt, the Patriots dominated their blocking assignments.
Larry Izzo and Patrick Pass sealed off their would-be tacklers, Ty Law pancaked the long-snapper, Matt Chatham never let his man get off the line of scrimmage, and Terrell Buckley and Antwan Harris smothered their gunner on a double-team.
By the end of the play, mauled by Harris and Buckley, the Steelers gunner was on his hands and knees in his own end zone after starting the play at the eight-yard line.
"That's about as good as a gunner can be blocked right there," Belichick said. "These guys should be on the porch on the Hall of Fame just for that block alone."
During the segment with host Scott Zolak, Belichick also explained what went on during Dion Lewis' 31-yard run -- the team's first explosive run of the season, Belichick pointed out -- as well as a Devin McCourty tackle-for-loss and an Elandon Roberts third-down stop.
You can watch the entire video here.