Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been seen as sort of a villain for leaving his starters in too long, running up the score, and cruelty to a sweatshirt. And I cannot agree with any of that. Except for maybe the sweatshirt part.
Have you gone on to NFL.com shop in a while, Bill? Those sweatshirts are expensive. And you mock us by cutting up the sleeves and neck? Why don’t you stand on the sidelines and drink your Gatorade out of cups made from $100 bills?
But I digress. Although some people see Belichick’s zeal to play an entire 60 minutes unsportsmanlike, the fantasy enthusiast in me appreciates the gesture. We want a guy who keeps his players in for a full game and won’t bench his starters in the fantasy playoffs.
Only the Colts do stuff like that.
You think people who were riding Colts QB Petyon Manning in the fantasy playoffs last year didn’t wish that Belichick was pulling the strings and went for the undefeated season?
So when the Patriots are sailing to another AFC East title and possibly home-field advantage throughout (though not quite there yet), there should be no fear that Belichick is going to rest his starters. Belichick made that point to reporters Tuesday (via the Boston Herald):
“That’s not really something we’ve done, and, in all honesty, I wouldn’t even anticipate doing it … having that discussion right now,” Belichick said. “What’s going to happen now is we’re going to go through the game plan, players come in tomorrow, and everybody is going to get ready to play. That’s how we’re going to approach it.”
Cool, man, so you are totally going with your starters, right?
“Whoever plays plays,” Belichick said. “Whoever doesn’t play doesn’t play. It’s like that every week. We could go out there the first play of the game, something could happen. Someone else could be in there. Everybody needs to be ready to go all the time.”
Ah, I see what Belichick is doing here. The loquacious one isn’t one to tip his hand. Very shrewd. That is why he has won three Super Bowls. So although you can try to read too much into what Belichick is saying, feel comfortable starting QB Tom Brady, RB BenJarvus Green-Elllis and many of the other Patriots studs you have grown to rely on.