INDIANAPOLIS – Some of the biggest takeaways from Bill Belichick’s final news conference, held Friday morning with the Lombardi Trophy to his left:
1. Praise for Indianapolis. Belichick opened his remarks by praising the host city. “I think the city and the accommodations, all the way around, the practice facility, everything has been really outstanding. I think our team has enjoyed the week here.” Belichick added that he feels the team has had a good week of preparation.
2. Belichick and the future. Belichick deflected a question on whether he’d consider retiring if winning another Super Bowl ring Sunday – he initially smiled when reminded he will be turning 60 – but also said he looked forward to continuing his working relationship with Robert Kraft. From this perspective, Belichick sounds and looks like a coach who has no plans to retire at this time.
3. Dishing injury info … to a point. Some might be surprised that Belichick has been willing to share injury information, but there is a limit. When asked to elaborate on what injured tight end Rob Gronkowski was able to do in Thursday’s practice, Belichick said, “He practiced on a limited basis and did some of the things that we did in practice.” There was a pause at that point, before Belichick asked, “Was that the elaboration you were looking for?” When it comes to sense of humor, Belichick has been “on” all week.
4. Why he had the team take a halftime break during Wednesday’s practice. Belichick explained his thinking for having the team take an extended break during Wednesday’s practice, retreating to the locker room. Playing in the Super Bowl means an extended halftime – “two and a half times as long” from the regular season, Belichick said. So the idea was to give players a feel for what is to come and the importance of re-starting in the second half. “It’s like starting the game all over again,” he said, adding it’s like a “doubleheader in baseball.”
5. Parcells deserves spot in Hall of Fame. Belichick put his support behind Bill Parcells for a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He called Parcells a tremendous coach who had a big impact on his career. “I can’t imagine him being left out of that group,” he said.
6. “Slept like a baby.” Belichick was asked how he’s handled this week and if he’s been able to get to sleep at night. “Slept like a baby,” he said, drawing laughter from reporters. Belichick then explained how he usually starts his days early, focusing on what he needs to do to prepare himself and the team. By the end of the day, he’s worn out so he sleeps well, gets up in the morning, and starts the process all over again.
7. No photo with Lombardi Trophy. Following his news conference, Belichick did not stop to pose for a photo with the Lombardi Trophy. Other coaches have done so in the past, but Belichick has preferred to avoid it in recent trips to the Super Bowl. On his way out of the news conference, Belichick was tripped up by some wires on the ground, but maintained his balance a la Danny Woodhead. Well done.