Patriots coach Bill Belichick was a guest on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" program tonight, his appearance arranged in part because Charles Barkley was part of the panel alongside James Brown, Cris Collinsworth, Phil Simms and Warren Sapp.
Belichick touched on his friendship with Barkley, fondly recalling their dinners in Cleveland when Belichick was head coach of the Browns.
Between highlights of the Patriots-Cowboys game that featured sound on the sideline, and Belichick's interview, there were two nuggets of note from this perspective:
1. Cameras capture Belichick on the sidelines, speaking with quarterback Tom Brady, receiver Wes Welker and others on offense. "What's killing them, on all the split safety, is that they can't match up with Aaron [Hernandez] inside," Belichick said, before adding that whichever player the Patriots moved inside, that was the area to attack against the Cowboys. That helps explain why Hernandez was targeted a team-high 14 times, followed by Wes Welker (10), then Rob Gronkowski (7).
2. Belichick was asked by Collinsworth about the 5-1 Patriots at this point, and he highlighted what he liked about Sunday's victory. "I thought the win against Dallas was a good, tough win for our football team that in all honesty, we haven't had a lot of those lately. This was one of those games where we had to get the ball back. We did. We needed a long drive to get into field-goal range. We did, and then we were able to finish the drive and get in the end zone. The players stepped up. They made it when they had to, and you have to feel good about that, in spite of some of the other mistakes we made that day."