Belichick on Wesleyan and more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bill Belichick covered a lot of ground in a 29-minute news conference with reporters on Thursday morning. At the end, he stepped down from the podium, looked at a reporter, and said, “Like that Wesleyan sweatshirt.”

Belichick, of course, is a Wesleyan grad.

A few Belichick soundbites:

On Giants quarterback Eli Manning: “He’s had a great year. I thought he was playing well at the beginning of the year, before we played him, and then of course he’s had a great end of the season, as has the entire team. … Eli has done a good job not turning the ball over. Their third-down conversion numbers are up significantly from the regular season, playing against better teams, better defenses. He’s doing a great job. Outstanding quarterback. He can hurt you with his legs; he’s not looking to run for 100 yards or anything but good on third down, scrambling out of the pocket, keeping plays alive. He has a lot of skill and he uses all his weapons, spreads the ball around. He makes you defend everybody. He wins, and that’s really what the quarterback’s job is, to manage the game so his team can win. That’s what he’s done.”

On being part of the Giants' Super Bowl XXV coaching staff: "I think first of all, you have to give a lot of credit to the guy who put it together, Bill [Parcells]. Bill did a real good job of hiring good people and collectively bringing them together. We kind of had our own way of doing things. That was a different time; the game was different than what it is now. I think Bill brought together people, I’d say what we all have in common out of that group, is we all like football. You don’t really feel like you’re working. You’re doing something you want to do. You don’t think about the hours or you don’t think about how much more I have to do, you think about doing something because you enjoy doing it. I would say that about all those people. I think that staff worked pretty well together. There was a good amount of respect."

On Greg Schiano, reportedly the Buccaneers new coach, and his Rutgers players being pro ready: “We have four of them, a Rutgers contingent – Nate [Jones], Alex [Silvestro] on the practice squad, Tiquan [Underwood] and Devin [McCourty]. We’re well stocked, but we can’t compete with all the BC guys that the Giants have, although we have a stable of them, too. Greg has obviously done a great job at Rutgers and I think he’s a tremendous coach. He’s done a great job with that program. His players have been very NFL ready.”