Bill Belichick says Patriots are ‘on to Seattle’
Bill Belichick had four words after his Patriots beat the Colts Sunday in the AFC Championship.
“We’re on to Seattle,” New England’s coach said as he lifted the Lamar Hunt Trophy for the sixth time in his career.
His new spin on the phrase he made a top quote of last year showed his more light-hearted side, which carried over into his postgame news conference as he praised the chemistry of this year’s Patriots.
“It’s a hard working group,” he said. “They work with each other. They try to help each other get better. I couldn’t be happier for this group of guys. It has been a good team to coach. Guys deserve the success they had there tonight. I just can’t say enough about what they did and how well they did it.”
Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said his coach had one message before taking the field at Gillette Stadium. It stuck with the players.
“Before we took the field, that’s what Bill said: ‘Play as one,” Wilfork said. “We played well. That’s what it’s going to take to be successful at this level.”
Belichick, who is now the winningest coach in NFL postseason history, and quarterback Tom Brady are now headed to Glendale, Ariz., for their sixth appearance in a Super Bowl.
|XLIX||Feb. 1, 2015||SEA||?|
|XLVI||Feb. 5, 2012||NYG||21-17, L|
|XLII||Feb. 3, 2008||NYG||17-14, L|
|XXXIX||Feb. 6, 2005||PHI||24-21, W|
|XXXVIII||Feb. 1, 2004||CAR||32-29, W|
But Brady, who finished with 226 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception on 23-of-35 passing against the Colts, is just now digesting the fact that he has more Super Bowl appearances than any other quarterback.
“Look, I haven’t had much time to reflect,” he said in his postgame news conference. “I think we’re right in the middle of it. It was a great team win. We needed it from all three phases and to make it to this point is a great accomplishment for this team. Hopefully our best is yet to come.
“It’s pretty sweet.”
The Patriots and Seahawks, who beat the Packers, 28-22, in overtime Sunday to advance to their second consecutive Super Bowl, haven’t met since 2012. Wilfork said the Patriots fully expect the Seahawks’ best when they try to defend their title in two weeks.
“To be the champ, you have to beat the champ and they’re sitting right there waiting for us,” he said. “They are going to try to protect that, and our job is to take that away from it.”
Other postgame notes
■ Belichick on LeGarrette Blount’s 148-yard, three-touchdown performance: “He made some great cuts in not good conditions and found yards when they were not there. He’s a tough guy to tackle. He’s certainly a quality back He made some great runs tonight. There were several times when he took nothing and turned it into something.”
■ Brady on offensive lineman Nate Solder’s 16-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter: “We thought it would work. It was a great time. [Offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] called it. Nate made a great catch. Tough conditions out there. It was raining, for God’s sakes, and he runs over two guys to get in there. He played a little tight end in his first year, so I don’t know, maybe we have more tricks up our sleeve.”