FOXBORO -- When the Patriots were rolling over the Raiders in Mexico City, there was a play near the end of the game that stood out.
Unhappy with Jonathan Jones' shove on one fourth-quarter pass play, Oakland receiver Johnny Holton approached Jones and gave Jones an open-hand smack to the helmet. Holton was penalized. Jones wasn't because he let Holton walk away after he noticed a flag was thrown immediately.
A few days later, Belichick was asked about the incident. How often is poise in those situations discussed during Patriots meetings?
"We talk about it every day," Belichick replied.
Fast forward two weeks, and the Patriots are now without one of their stars because he lost his cool late in another blowout win. Rob Gronkowski was penalized and later suspended for his late hit on Bills corner Tre'Davious White. Danny Amendola was also flagged for a shot on safety Micah Hyde that occurred about the same time.
During Wednesday's press conference, Belichick seemed to shoulder some of the responsibility for his players reacting as they did in that instance.
"Yeah, that’s important for us," Belichick replied when asked about players keeping their composure. "Yep, that’s important every week. It’s a competitive game. There’s a lot of emotion out there. Yeah, as the coach, I’ve got to do a better job of that."
Monday night's game in Miami could test the Patriots in that regard. The last time they played the Dolphins, two weeks ago at Gillette Stadium, Tom Brady took a couple of questionable hits. Danny Amendola found himself in a wrestling matching with Bobby McCain that got McCain ejected. And there was plenty of jawing back and forth from both sides.
There figures to be no lack of emotion when the two teams get together again in prime time. Belichick will undoubtedly be providing reminders for his players to keep their heads and simply "do business as business is being done."