Patriots

Belichick's locker room message to Pats after Week 1 win

Patriots

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The New England Patriots endured massive roster turnover this offseason, replacing franchise cornerstone Tom Brady with Cam Newton while losing several core players on defense.

But Bill Belichick still is the head coach and the Patriots still can win games, as evidenced by their 21-11 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

And Belichick's message to the team in the locker room sounds familiar to those he's delivered when Brady when was in the building.

"All right men, that was a good team win," Belichick said in a speech to his players. "Got good contributions from all three phases, everybody contributed there, did a lot of things well. Certainly a lot of improvement; we'll work on that."

Belichick also praised his players for keeping their poise when things were "getting a little out of hand" at the end of the game, an apparent reference to a postgame scuffle in which Dolphins players seemingly went after Cam Newton's chain.

It was a typically even-keeled message from the Patriots head coach, who gave the game ball to J.C. Jackson after the New England cornerback -- who's about to be a new father -- had a strong game against the Dolphins.

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Patriots co-captain Matthew Slater also emphasized the importance of overcoming adversity, which the team (and the entire NFL) has faced plenty of in a tumultuous offseason.

 

New England faces a tough challenge next Sunday in the Seattle Seahawks and is expected to drop off in its first season without Brady. But through one week at least, Belichick has the ship steered in the right direction.