Those best equipped to describe Bill Belichick's football genius are the players he shares that genius with.
Take it from Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who's developed into one of the best defensive backs in the league since coming to New England in 2016.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated's Conor Orr, Gilmore recalled a detail Belichick shared with him prior to a 2018 game that may go overlooked on other coaching staffs.
"He said, ‘When the ball is traveling in this certain direction, the wind is blowing hard enough where you should probably trail the receiver just a little bit because the ball isn’t going that deep,' " Gilmore told Orr.
"I mean, nobody looks at those kinds of things. It’s the little things like that. You listen to him."
Gilmore seemingly reaped the benefits of Belichick's extra insight, too. As Orr points out, both of Gilmore's interceptions in 2018 came in outdoor stadiums -- Week 1 vs. Houston Texans, Week 11 at New York Jets -- on underthrown deep balls. (You can see them at the 0:01 and 6:17 marks of the video below).
Gilmore's anecdote shouldn't surprise you: Belichick is famous for leaving no stone unturned and makes a habit of surveying the field several hours before a game to gauge everything from wind speed to field conditions to the position of the sun.
But every once in a while, a player like Gilmore gives us a reminder that Belichick's relentless preparation hasn't changed as he enters his 20th season as Patriots head coach.
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The New England Patriots defense has played very well to start the season. In fact, they are performing historically well.
So far through two contests, the Patriots have allowed a minuscule three points in two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins. According to the ESPN Stats and Info Twitter account, that's tied for the fewest points allowed through two games during the Super Bowl era.
The Patriots have only allowed 3 points so far this season.
This is tied for the fewest by a team through 2 games in the Super Bowl Era alongside the 1970 Lions, 1976 Oilers and 1981 Bills. pic.twitter.com/udO3U9nEjR
Of the three teams listed along with the Patriots, two made the playoffs but none of them made it to the Super Bowl. The Patriots will look to change that.
The Patriots have faced 22 drives this season and only one has ended in a score. Of the other drives, nine have ended in 3-and-outs and five have ended on interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns).
It's unlikely that the Patriots' success will continue on at this rate for the foreseeable future. But even if they regress a bit, they will still be one of the most powerful teams in the entire league and will sport one of the NFL's fiercest defenses. Either way, the Patriots defense is a strength and will surely give the Patriots a chance to make it to their fourth consecutive Super Bowl.
The New England Patriots will be favored by more than two touchdowns for the second consecutive game when they take on the New York Jets in Week 3.
The Patriots destroyed the Miami Dolphins on the road Sunday in a 43-0 Week 2 win. New England's defense had seven sacks and four interceptions, while the offense was bolstered by the debut of newly signed wide receiver Antonio Brown. The 31-year-old veteran caught four passes from Tom Brady, tallying 56 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Here are the early spreads for every Week 3 game (via the Westgate Superbook):
NFL - Week 3
Ten -2.5 at Jax GB -7 vs Den Phi -7.5 vs Det KC -6.5 vs Bal Buf -6 vs Cin Ind -3 vs Atl Min -7.5 vs Oak NE -17.5 vs NYJ Dal -20.5 vs Mia TB -6 vs NYG Car -3.5 at Ari Sea (NL) vs NO LAC -3 vs Hou SF (NL) vs Pit LAR -3 EV at Cle Chi -6.5 at Wsh
The most notable spread on that list is the Dallas Cowboys being favored by 20.5-points over the Dolphins. The Cowboys are 2-0, and their high-powered offense led by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott should easily be able to move the ball against a Dolphins defense that's given up 102 points over the first two weeks of the season.