Why is Bill Belichick smiling?

In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, Mike Reiss writes on how Bill Belichick has been full of smiles in the Patriots' first two days in town for Super Bowl XLVI.

He likes this team.

That is one conclusion that can be definitively drawn at Super Bowl XLVI, where New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been relaxed, engaging and humorous over the past two days. There have been a lot of smiles in his daily news conferences.

If there has been a consensus among media types after listening to Belichick talk about everything from injuries -- yes, injuries -- to his background and influences in the game, it's this: Who kidnapped the old Belichick and replaced him with this one?

Reiss then retraces his steps to the first day of Patriots training camp, in late July. At the time, Belichick was asked about the leadership on the team.

On the first day of camp, when much of the buzz was about the acquisition of defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, which eventually backfired, Belichick was asked if he was comfortable with the leadership in the team's locker room.

"I have no idea. We haven't even stepped foot on the field," he said at the time. "It's a new team, a new year, a totally blank slate. I have no idea what we have right now; we haven't even gotten in the huddle yet. Take it day by day and see how it goes."

Now, 186 days later, Belichick knows.

Truthfully, Belichick knew it earlier than this. It is why, back on Nov. 27 after a comeback win in Philadelphia, he acknowledged that he's not an easy coach to play for and the Patriots' demanding program isn't for everyone. He said something similar later in the season.

To read the piece, CLICK HERE.