Bill Belichick on his coaching style, Kendrick Bourne and the “Bills Mafia”

Bill Belichick

Belichick was also asked about a Mac Jones-Tom Brady comparison.

Bill Belichick before the Patriots win over the Titans. AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

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A day after the Patriots’ 36-13 win over the Titans on Sunday, Bill Belichick called WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” for his weekly interview.

Although New England is riding a six-game winning streak, Belichick – who explained at Sunday’s post-game press conference that eight wins isn’t enough to “win anything or clinch anything ” – again emphasized the importance of not dwelling on even a momentary success.

“It’s great to win, but you have to move on,” Belichick said.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Overview of Belichick’s coaching philosophy.

Given Mac Jones’ success thus far, Belichick was asked how unusual it is for a rookie to have such a solid understanding of the playbook. WEEI co-host Courtney Cox posed an initial question in the context of comparing Jones to former Patriots quarterbacks and how they worked with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

“Does Mac’s ability on the field make it easier for Josh to lay out a better or bigger game plan than maybe the quarterbacks you’ve had in the past?”

Belichick paused before asking if she was referring to the most famous Patriots quarterback of the past.

“Ease the game plan on Tom Brady? No.”

Cox clarified in a follow-up that the issue was more about getting Jones to exceed expectations as a rookie, and the resulting effect that might have had on McDaniels’ game plan.

“Josh does a great job of game planning, game calling and in-game adjustments,” Belichick explained. He then offered a more in-depth response regarding his basic approach.

“I think when you coach a team or when you coach a player, you don’t just sit there and think he’s a rookie or is he a second-year player? Is he a seventh year player or is he a ninth year player? Belichick said. “You just train him to try to help him improve, and it’s a sliding scale. I mean, I understand that coaching a rookie is not the same as coaching a 10-year veteran.

“But whatever that player is – whatever years he’s been in the league – whatever he can handle, whatever he can deal with, whenever you feel like you’re nearing the top , then you have to back off a bit until you’re comfortable with the level of information or volume you’re teaching the player, then after he absorbs that, you can continue to stack a little higher.

On a higher level, Belichick added that a player’s experience can be inconsequential compared to their ability to simply learn a new system.

“I think that’s how a coach trains any player, whether it’s Cam [Newton] arrived last year new to the system or Mac arrived this year new to the system,” he noted. “Some players process certain things easier and faster than others, and then some players process things easier and faster than another player. You just have to find that balance with every player, regardless of their year or position. It’s just coaching.

The Kendrick Bourne effect.

One of the most impactful free agent signings for the Patriots in 2021 was wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

The 26-year-old, who joined New England from the 49ers, is nearing a career high in receiving yards (with 623) and has already tied his best single-season record with five touchdowns.

He notched two in Sunday’s win, including one of the highlights of the game in the third quarter:

Belichick described how Bourne’s energy shows on more than just game day.

“Yeah KB has been really productive for us,” Belichick said. “He has a high level of energy every day, whether in training or [when] you see him on Sundays, but we see him every day in training.

“He’s a great guy to have on the team, he’s got a great attitude,” Belichick continued. “Works really hard to do his job and help others by blocking or sometimes just clearing a route, something like that. I’m glad we have him and he really stepped up for us.

Josh Allen and the “Bills Mafia” are waiting for you.

Looking ahead to Week 13, the Patriots travel to Buffalo for a crucial AFC East matchup against the Bills.

The game is on Monday night, with Buffalo fans expected to be a vocal presence as always. Belichick was asked how he thinks he is perceived by Buffalo’s fanbase, commonly referred to as the “Bills Mafia.”

“Yeah, they sure don’t like me,” he admitted.

On Josh Allen, the Bills’ talented quarterback, Belichick had nothing but praise.

“He can throw it, he can extend plays, his level of experience has made him a really smart quarterback,” Belichick said, “doing a lot of little things, like things with cadence, hearing, seeing blitzes, anticipating them and swiping protection to pick them up, things like that.

“He’s a smart player, he’s tough, he’s physical, he’s got a great arm,” Belichick added, “difficult to tackle. [He can] make all throws. He has good leadership and tenacity. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league. »