Bill Belichick wanted nothing to do with it.
With his 8-3 New England Patriots ready to take on the winless Indianapolis Colts, Belichick got a bit snippy with the media on Wednesday, perhaps taking his snarky press conferences to a new low. Perhaps it was partially due to his battling a cold, but Belichick was insulted by questions about his opponent this Sunday, an 0-11 Colts team that has been outscored by a combined 177 points this season.
Belichick was asked if he's talked with his team about their opponent's record and relative level of ineptitude. His first answer offered the usual jargon of respecting an opponent and needing to go out there and perform.
"They've heard me talk about every week, saying we don't care about the record and we don't. What difference does it make? How somebody played two weeks ago against somebody else -- who cares? Us or anybody else, it doesn't matter," Belichick said. "The only thing that matters is how we and the Colts perform against each other on Sunday. That's all that matters. Who cares who won three weeks ago in some other game with some other players? It doesn't matter."
All this ignores the fact that the Colts are of course hopeless and likely will go 0-16, a team that never came close to recovering after losing quarterback Peyton Manning in August for the season. Belichick was then asked in more detail about preparing for a team that is still winless 12 weeks into the NFL season and he went on to say that the Colts record "doesn't matter" and that he still needs to convince his team to perform on the field. Apparently, Belichick won't be wearing an Andrew Luck jersey to Sunday's game.
"The rest of it is a bunch of garbage. You guys can write about it all you want but it doesn't matter, really. The winner of this game will be decided by which team plays better on Sunday, not what happened four weeks ago," Belichick said. "This is a news story, but it's like that every week, every week."
Belichick was also asked about if he can better gauge his Patriots against a team that, well, has actually won a game or two rather than against the hapless Colts, who seem destined for the top pick in next spring's NFL draft. His response was incredulous and bordered on the insulting.
"I don't agree with that, so you can go ahead on your soliloquy, but I just don't agree with that. You don't think you can gauge a team based on how a player blocks Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis? Who else would you gauge it against? Are you kidding me? Covering Reggie Wayne and [Austin] Collie and [Pierre] Garcon -- you don't think you can gauge your coverage based on those players?" Belichick said. "I don't care what their record is. You think there are better receivers around than them? Better pass rushers than Freeney and Mathis? I'm not sure what games you're watching here."
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer