After 18 years, I've learned not to expect anything remotely illuminating from Bill Belichick on his weekly conference call with the Buffalo media before Pats-Bills games. Belichick is about as predictable as junk mail. It's part of his coaching genius to provide stock responses that downplay his team's greatness and inflate the abilities of the opponent, no matter how meager the opposition.
During a conference call, Belichick will often mention every starter on the Bills. He will drone on their roster depth, their great coaching, the explosiveness of the quarterback. He will rarely elaborate on any subject, and never on an individual player's accomplishments, even Tom Brady. It used to be funny. Now it's just tedious and an insult to journalism, like the demeaning concept of "fake news."
A couple of snippets, if you care:
On Brady playing at his best at age 40:
"We're just taking it week-to-week here. Let's just worry about this week, trying to play well against Buffalo. This is a huge challenge for us defensively. They have a lot of disruptive players at all three levels."
On why they're usually better in second halves of seasons:
"I don't know. We'll see how it goes. We're kind of one week at a time here. We're just trying to get ready to do a good job up in Buffalo, and that's all we care about right now."
On the Bills recent quarterback switch:
"We have to be ready for every player on the active player list every week. We prepare for all 53 players, and whichever ones are inactive, we modify that when we know who the 46 guys are going to be, and we prepare to compete against those players."
On why he can't express any amazement about Brady:
"That's where our focus is right now. It's Buffalo. I'm sure other people can talk about other historical things and our team and the league and our players and all that. We're trying to get ready for Buffalo and that's a big test."
On whether LeSean McCoy is still a special talent who requires intense preparation for a defense:
Finally, I figured it might get a rise to ask him about the tax bill that was voted out of committee by the U.S. Senate yesterday.
"I really focus on trying to get ready for Buffalo. I'll leave that to you experts."