Consistency key to Belichick’s success

Associated Press


Season opener or Super Bowl, every game is a big game to Bill Belichick.

His consistent approach to preparation for the next opponent, whether a powerhouse or a pushover, is the cornerstone of the coaching that has brought the New England Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl in 11 years.

The more intense the practices, the more prepared his players are for the game.

“You know what to expect week-in and week-out with him,” wide receiver Matthew Slater said. “The attention to detail is always there. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bye week or if it’s a divisional playoff round. He’s committed to winning and that commitment never falters, no matter what the circumstance, no matter how much success we’ve had or how many games we may have lost in a row.

“That commitment to winning is always there.”

During practices, Belichick strolls the field, sometimes twirling his whistle on a lanyard, other times stopping to talk with players. His daily message is simple — get the fundamentals right and just do your own job while preparing for the uniqueness of the next opponent.

That’s resulted in 10 straight victories, eight in the regular season and two in the playoffs. Another win on Feb. 5 against the New York Giants would give the Patriots their fourth Super Bowl championship.

“I think every game is a big game,” Belichick said. “Every time we get an opportunity to compete then we try to take advantage of the time leading up to that opportunity — the practice week, the preparation, the film study, understanding our game plan and our adjustments, all of those kinds of things.

“What else is there to work on but the game, the next one on your schedule, the one that you’re playing? You try to cover all your bases for that game, you play it, and then you start the process all over again with the next one.”