|Belichick says Jets' cheating charge won't add motivation|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 10 December 2007 13:31|
The kind that could help his Patriots stay unbeaten next Sunday by beating the team that turned him in for having an on-field camera snoop on the sideline.
In preparing for Sunday's 34-13 win over Pittsburgh, Belichick studied tape of a game three weeks earlier when the Jets upset the Steelers 19-16 in overtime.
``My impression of them was in the Pittsburgh game they played very well. And they beat Pittsburgh,'' he said Monday. ``They have some outstanding players.''
Belichick didn't mention Jets coach Eric Mangini, his former defensive coordinator who blew the whistle on him after New England's 38-14 season-opening win over New York - the first in a string of 13 wins that leaves the Patriots just three short of a perfect regular season.
In the first quarter of that game, the Jets had a Patriots sideline camera shut down. They complained the Patriots were trying to steal their coaches' defensive signals in violation of league rules.
The punishment: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 and took away one of the Patriots two first-round draft choices.
Is it payback time? Will the juggernaut accused of running up the score in some blowout wins make those look like squeakers?
Belichick wasn't saying.
He was asked five times at his news conference Monday about the impact of the spying scandal on Sunday's rematch and responded with his stock answer: Belichick will prepare the same way he does for all games.
Any added motivation? ``We're going to approach it like every other game.''
And what is that approach? ``Just the way we've done all of them. Come in, look at the film, get together a game plan, try to figure out the best way to attack and defend them. Try to win.''
Whether Belichick or his players reveal their true feelings, the complaint about the camera should provide extra incentive. It did when New England crushed San Diego 38-14 three days after Goodell slapped the Patriots and their coach for the shenanigans.
``After everything that went on this week, we wanted to do our best for Belichick,'' Tom Brady said after the win over the Chargers.
And just last week, they used Pittsburgh safety Anthony Smith's guarantee of a victory to fire themselves up.
``We took it as a challenge. We were going to come out here and show them what we had,'' said Jabar Gaffney, who burned Smith for a 56-yard touchdown reception.
Even Belichick, who rarely criticizes an opponent, took a public swipe at Smith after the game.
``We've played against a lot better safeties than him,'' Belichick said.
But he was back in his bland mode Monday: ``There's no points for any quotes that were or weren't in the paper. (The) plays that we executed well, we gained yards on. The plays that we didn't, we didn't gain yards on and there were some of both.''
The Patriots had pulled out their previous two games by three points each with fourth-quarter comebacks against losing teams. Then they dominated the Steelers, as they did most of their first 10 opponents, when their average victory margin was 25.4 points.
Tom Brady threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns and wasn't sacked by a defense that had allowed the fewest yards in the NFL.
``Pittsburgh blitzed us a lot,'' Belichick said. ``It was almost all blitz. It was a blitz-a-thon the whole day. Defensively, we played better in the red area and the goal line, made a couple big stops there.''
So if they could roll over a Steelers team that dropped to 9-4, it should be much easier against the Jets, who are 3-10 with a coach who chilled their already frosty relationship by accusing his former boss of cheating.
After all, the Patriots were mad enough to take it out on San Diego the week after the scandal surfaced.
For now, they say it's just another game. But they said the same about Pittsburgh after Smith made his guarantee, then used that boast for extra motivation.
``I'm telling you that we're going to approach this game like we approached the last one and the one before that and the one before that,'' Belichick insisted. ``That's all I can tell you.''