Bill Belichick not concerned with injuries, buckling down ahead of Week 2 matchup with Saints
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One of the main catalysts of the Patriots' season-opening upset loss last week was linebacker Dont'a Hightower's injury. After the defensive captain left the game in the middle of the third, Kansas City scored 21 points en route to a 42-27 victory. But if you asked head coach Bill Belichick about how it will affect the team's Week 2 matchup, you would think nothing ever happened in the first place.
At a press conference Tuesday, Belichick casually shrugged off any questions relating to New England's injury problems--especially on defense, where the Pats are precariously thin along the edge.
There's some element of that every week in the National Football League. Every team is dealing with something and some circumstances and some unique situations about the game. We have ours and everybody else has theirs. I've seen weeks a lot worse than this one, to be honest with you. We'll work our way through it and we'll be ready to go on Sunday.
In other words, "We're on to New Orleans." While it doesn't reveal; anything about the state of New England's multiple injuries (especially those to Danny Amendola and Dont'a Hightower), Belichick's abject lack of concern could be a good sign on that front. From a motivational standpoint, it's not a very inspiring answer, but it's one the team needs to hear to recover. Frankly, the loss to KC was a shocker, but the Pats have to move on if they want to succeed. Dwelling on the game won't do any good now. In keeping with that mindset, ESPN's Mike Reiss had this to say about Belichick's interactions with the media this week:
In a conference call with reporters, and then later in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI, his answers were short and his tone reflected how this is going to be a long week at Patriots headquarters. He sounded like a coach determined to clean up the mess from this past Thursday’s season-opening loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, which means he'll be cracking his head-coaching whip.
“We learned a lot against Kansas City, certainty in the fourth quarter,” Belichick said of being outscored 21-0 in the final 15 minutes. “Hopefully we can improve on it and do a better job here the next time around.”
He's certainly not here to play. Joyless though it may seem, Belichick's buckle-down, no-nonsense approach has produced great results in the past. For the Patriots to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2001, it will have to succeed once again this Sunday.