Mentally recharged Belichick checks in

Bill Belichick arrived at his Tuesday news conference and noted the light attendance from media members.

“Everybody else covering the election?” he asked, smiling.

Belichick spent his opening remarks detailing his belief that the Bills, Sunday’s opponent, have explosive players (e.g. running back C.J. Spiller averaging 7 yards per carry). He later added that he watched the Bills’ 21-9 loss to the Texans on Sunday (no, Belichick doesn’t watch the “Red Zone” channel).

A few soundbites from Belichick:

1. Mental recharge on the bye. “I think any time you get that break, it can be a good thing if it’s utilized properly. I think there definitely was a sense of relief from all of us – coaches and players – of just not having a game-plan last week, and having the whole mental pressure of coming up with a game-plan, and each day thinking about game-plans and adjustments. … The weight of studying for a final exam, if you will. You’re grinding through a week of preparation and then you go for the final exam. After you’ve had eight of those, it’s nice to have a week where you don’t have to study, you don’t have to game-plan, and you don’t have a final exam. You don’t have all the mental adjustments you have to go through. Now this week, we’re back into that and hopefully we have a little bit of a freshness, or a better approach to it than that after eight weeks of doing it.”

2. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe back at practice. “It was good to see him back out there. It looks like he’s moving well. He had an opportunity to actually run some of our plays on Thursday, and did some scout-team the week before, the St. Louis week. We’ll give it another week here and see how it goes. I think he’s making progress.” (Belichick said he believes the deadline to activate Shiancoe is Monday at 4 p.m.)

3. Praise for right tackle Sebastian Vollmer. “I think he’s played very consistently every week and it seems like he’s gotten a little bit better and stronger each week. He didn’t get a lot of reps in training camp, even though he worked hard on his conditioning, and he was in good shape, it just wasn’t football shape. I think that’s something he’s worked hard on, taking more reps in practice, and he played gradually more reps in the first 2-3 games until he was pretty much playing the whole game. I think he’s done a solid job, a real solid performance this year.”

At the end of the news conference, Belichick said that the window remains open to “start the clock” on players on the physically unable to perform list (e.g. DL Myron Pryor).