PHOENIX — Patriots coach Bill Belichick skipped the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday morning at the NFL meetings to do some scouting at Florida’s Pro Day, but he was still a big topic of conversation at most of the tables.
Most of the coaches were impressed — yet hardly surprised — at the success of the Patriots offseason moves on the heels of the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl title last month.
“He’s not slowing down,’’ said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “He is stumbling over all the rings he’s winning.’’
Harbaugh said Belichick’s drive is what keeps the Patriots consistently at the top.
“I think the Patriots always do a great job,’’ he said when asked about the team’s trades and free agent signings. “Bill and his whole staff, his scouting department, they’re phenomenal [at] what they do and they’re having another excellent offseason.’’
Sean McDermott, who recently supplanted Rex Ryan as the Bills coach, was pretty succinct in his assessment of New England’s wheeling and dealing.
“That’s why I wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning,’’ he said.
Fellow AFC East coach Adam Gase, who took the Dolphins to the playoffs last season in his first at the helm, takes an opposite approach.
“We can’t worry about [the Patriots],’’ Gase told reporters. “We have to worry about what we’re doing and focus on getting better ourselves … We just have to find a way to get better ourselves and when it’s time to play those guys. We have to compete better than we did last year.’’
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn’t sound overly convincing when he said he hadn’t “thought a lot about’’ New England’s recent moves.