What we learned about Belichick

In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, Mike Reiss writes on Patriots coach Bill Belichick and what was learned from listening to him over the last few days.

No reminder was truly needed because when you coach 38 consecutive years in the National Football League, that pretty much says it all. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has great passion for his work and how it challenges him. We knew that already.

But for those wondering how much that fire still burns in the 60-year-old Belichick, the last few days provided a decisive answer.

On Wednesday, Belichick was asked about balancing aggressiveness and a conservative approach in the thin-margin-for-error playoffs and said, "You don't win a war by digging a foxhole and sitting in it. You've got to go out there and attack."

Then on Friday, Belichick referenced the Navy SEALs, making the connection to how they often adjust when they go on a mission because what they prepared for was different than the reality.

"That's the way it is in the NFL," said Belichick, who grew up around the Naval Academy, where his late father, Steve, was a longtime football coach. "You get in an NFL game and think you're going to get this and then you get that. Or you think they're going to play this guy and they play some other guy. You face new challenges.

"That's part of the gamesmanship and part of the competition. You figure out which team can do it better than the other one. There's always that unknown in the game. Everybody has to figure it out and make the best of it.

"That's what makes this a great game."

Different things make different people tick, and football -- its strategic elements, the preparation that comes with it -- is what it is for Belichick. Still is, after all these years, especially at this time of year when the competition level rises along with the championship stakes.

To read the piece, CLICK HERE.