Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
The New England Patriots play in a division with plenty of talkers.
Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter never met a question he was afraid to answer. New York Jets running back Thomas Jones has gained a reputation as the consummate pregame speech deliveryman. Buffalo Bills safety Donte Whitner boldly made a playoff guarantee over the summer.
While it would be naïve to think Patriots head coach Bill Belichick hasn't drawn on bulletin-board material to motivate his players, he insisted Friday he's not a big believer in rah-rah talk.
"You can go in there and beat your helmet against your locker before you go out on the field, hold hands, chant, kick chairs and break blackboards," Belichick said. "But as soon as the ball is snapped you do your job better than they do theirs or vice versa.
"After a couple plays -- it might be after one play -- it is really about execution. What team can do what they have to do better than the other team? No just individually, one-on-one, but collectively as a group. You get into situational football, field position, clock management, changing personnel groups, substitutions, calls and adjustments. That, to me, is what the game is about.
"I think you can go in there, take a sledge hammer and break up the cinder blocks, but I don't think that helps you block them. I don't think that helps you tackle them. I don't think it helps you do what you need to do from a football standpoint. If you can't do that then I think the rest of it is minimal."
Crowder apparently crossed a verbal line, inciting Light to rip off Crowder's helmet, grab him by the braided hair and rain blows on the back of his exposed head. Crowder also received a $15,000 fine for yapping, equal punishment that was met with disbelief in the Dolphins locker room.
Also in Sunday's game, Porter was fined $7,500 for talking too much trash.
"I think in general what we all need to do is focus on what our jobs are and do that," Belichick said. "There are a lot of potential distractions out there. Stuff gets said, and we all know what kind of stuff happens.
"Sometimes they can be distracting, and I'm not saying that we don't feel them or it isn't a burr in your saddle, but in the end you have to put all of that past you. Whether you're on the giving or receiving side -- I have seen it go on both ways -- go out and do your job. That is really what it comes down to."