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Belichick not of a mind to rest his starters

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick might help out an opponent by going for it on fourth down, but he indicated he's not going to pull a Jim Caldwell and rest his starters in advance of the playoffs.

Belichick, on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, said he "wouldn't even anticipate" holding his best players out of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans in Reliant Stadium. Sounds like the Texans will have to earn anything they get.

"That's not really something that we've done and, in all honesty, I wouldn't even anticipate doing it," Belichick said. "Having that discussion right now, what's going to happen now is we're going to go through the game plan, players are going to come in [Wednesday] and everybody's going to get ready to play. And that's how we're going to approach it.

"Whoever plays, plays. Whoever doesn't play, doesn’t play. But it's like that every week. We could go out there and on the first play of the game, something could happen and somebody else could be in there. Everybody needs to be ready to go all the time."

Belichick doesn't like to yank his starters. Even when the Patriots led Sunday's division-clinching victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars 35-0 in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady remained in the game until Brian Hoyer relieved him until there were 75 seconds left.