FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s remarks in the post-game ceremony following the AFC Championship game victory marked one of the highlights of the night for many: “I only have one thing to say. ‘We’re on to Seattle.’”
Belichick’s words were a play off one of the defining moments of the team’s season, the aftermath of the Patriots’ blowout loss to the Chiefs on Sept. 29. When Belichick was being peppered about quarterback Tom Brady and if he’s surrounded him with enough weapons, he kept repeating the same thing: We’re on to Cincinnati.
That became a rallying cry of sorts for the Patriots over the rest of the season, moving on to the next opponent.
During his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI’s “Dale and Holley” program, Belichick was asked by Jerry Thornton if he knew at the time that he was sparking a rallying cry.
“It probably wouldn’t have been as big a deal if I didn’t say it 12 times, or however many it was,” Belichick replied. “I couldn’t think of anything else to say and it was the same questions I didn’t want to answer.
“I didn’t realize at all, of course not. I was just trying to move on to really what was important to us at that point, and it was Cincinnati, not Kansas City, and what everybody thought was wrong.”
Two other soundbites from Belichick from WEEI:
Jerod Mayo still a big part of things. “Jerod is a good football player for us and means a lot to our team. He’s been a captain since his second year in the league. He’s very well-respected in the locker room. In my mind, we never lost Jerod Mayo. He’s not able to play, but what we gives us on a daily basis in the locker room, and the fact he was cleared to be on the [sideline] the last couple weeks, there is no risk of him not being able to get out of the way of a play or things like that, he’s done a great job on the sideline with his presence and communication with players and coaches, and experience.”
On Nate Solder's TD catch. “Nate carried that ball like a newborn baby -- two hands and had it cradled. You couldn’t have got that out of there with a crowbar. ... Nate’s a great guy. Nobody works harder than Nate. Nobody is more unselfish than Nate. We know week after week, Nate has one of the toughest jobs in the league in pro football, to play out there at left tackle and block a good pass rusher. And we’re a team that throws the ball a decent amount. He’s a great player, works very hard, very unselfish and dependable. You love to see that play happen for a guy like that.”