Bill Belichick on NFL caretaker, Patriots inconsistency, playoff experience


Belichick also provided an “optimistic” update on the two Sunday injuries.

Bill Belichick during the Patriots’ game against the Dolphins in Miami. AP Photo/Lynn Sladkie

Bill Belichick Joins WEEI’sThe Greg Hill Show“for his weekly radio interview on Monday morning, discussing the team’s direction in the playoff matchup with the Bills as well as the Patriots’ loss to the Dolphins on Sunday.

Regarding injuries to tackle Isaiah Wynn and defensive lineman Christian Barmore on Sunday, Belichick said the team “will see how things look this morning, but I would say we are hopeful.”

As for wide receiver Christian Wilkerson, who was not on New England’s active roster for Sunday’s game despite catching two touchdowns a week ago, Belichick provided an explanation.

“We were out of standard upgrades for Christiane,” he said of the team’s available roster moves. “That will change this week. He will have the opportunity to come.”

Belichick also touched on several other topics during their conversation. Here are some takeaways:

Patriots incompatibility

In the final four weeks of the regular season, as the Patriots struggled through a 1–3 stretch, the team’s only consistent quality was its inconsistency. This was a topic Belichick mentioned during the interview.

,[We] Do some good plays and some good things, and then undo it with some good stuff,” he said. “So obviously there has to be a better coach to get some more consistency, and when we get a chance to do that, we should execute it better.”

With a slow start on Sunday, rookie quarterback Mack Jones led the Patriots offense in a fourth-quarter comeback effort that produced back-to-back touchdown drives.

In the end, it was not enough.

“At various points we’ve done everything well,” Belichick said. “We’re not consistent in doing it. We have to find a way to put our best football on the field for 60 minutes in all three stages of the game. We haven’t been able to do that for 60 minutes here as recently as last month. That’s it. Very inconsistent.”

subject of substitution

In fourth place during the first quarter, the Dolphins played a fake punt that Patriots running back Brandon Bolden closed with a tackle, preventing Miami from going down first.

Later, Bolden was flagged for unnecessary roughness, even though replays show he had a legal play. Belichick was asked what the referee had ruled.

“There was no explanation,” Belichick said. “You have to talk to the authorities.”

“It was on the other side of the field from where I was,” he said. “So I didn’t look at it that well. It didn’t look like there was any contact on replay, but again, it doesn’t really matter what I think.”

Once the call was made, New England had no recourse, as it was a form of rule that could not be challenged. This is a topic that Belichick has discussed before, 2013 That a coach should be able to challenge any decision.

Belichick was pressed for additional ideas on the concept.

“Yeah, I think I’m on record on that subject, so I have nothing to add,” he said.

Playoff experience

The Patriots will face the Bills in Buffalo on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. This will be the third match between AFC East rivals this season.

The game will also be the first Patriots playoff game since Tom Brady left New England, yet the team still has plenty of veterans on the roster with postseason experience.

Does playoff track record matter? Belichick had a simple answer.

“I think the most important thing in the playoffs is to play well,” he told WEEI co-host (and former Patriots tight end) Jermaine Wiggins. “We’ve all seen players without a lot of playoff experience — like myself, like Tom Brady — win the Super Bowl and win playoff games. And we’ve seen experienced players lose and win them.

“I think it’s really more important that we play well,” Belichick continued. “It doesn’t matter what year the player is in or the experience he has or whatever. We all need to do our best, whatever our background or not.”