EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The main ESPNBoston.com story from the Patriots’ 49-19 win over the Jets was Bill Belichick earning his 200th career win in a game that had elements of much of what Belichick believes in as a coach.
That story, which attempts to capture the scene from the post-game locker room as owner Robert Kraft presented Belichick a game ball, can be read here.
Meanwhile, here are a few leftovers from reporting on the story:
1. What makes Belichick a good coach? This question was asked to 10-year veteran Tracy White, who has played for five teams, which gives him a wider perspective than some.
“The discipline. I would say he’s a perfectionist. There is always room to improve. He works on the mental game a lot – the game is more mental than physical. He knows the whole game, in and out, and there are so many little things you don’t know that he teaches us every day. We practice those little things and it makes the big things easy. We’re supposed to win, that’s expected. So even when we win, he’s always looking at the mistakes the next day when we look at film. I think being on other teams, and this team here – you win on other teams and they might sweep their mistakes under the rug. On this team here, it’s magnified to make sure we get it right. … He’s got a winning attitude. You work hard, get your mental game during the week, and just try to get ahead of the next team, to work harder than them. What’s expected to be normal with practice and meetings, we do more. More meetings.”
2. Players’ perspective on learning from Belichick. Seven-year veteran Steve Gregory came to New England from the Chargers, and the experience has been a positive one for him. Meanwhile, five-year veteran Matthew Slater touched on what it’s been like playing for Belichick after growing up with a Hall of Fame father, Jackie Slater.
Gregory: “He just takes so much pride in what he does – his attention to detail, dedication to the job. I’m happy to be around that, to be learning from this organization, and hopefully we win a lot more games.”
Slater: “It’s special. I knew when I first came here that I had a tremendous opportunity to play for a great man who really understood and loved this game of football, who respected it and approached it the right way. I think he’s one of the cornerstones of our game with what he’s been able to do in his career. It’s really special to be part of his 200th win. That doesn’t happen every day. It’s hard to win games in this league. Even tonight, it wasn’t easy. It took a lot of hard work and preparation on a short week. Coach is one of a one of a kind, a legend as far as this game is concerned. I’m just honored to play for him.”