The Patriots improved to 4-2 with a 24-17 win over the Jets on Sunday that featured some good work on both sides of the ball without being quite as overwhelming as many people thought the Patriots would be this season.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was not one of the people making that claim and he gave a pretty good answer about why no one should have expected the Patriots to be at their peak from the first week of the season.
During his Monday conference call, Belichick was asked about balancing adjustments with the scheme that was installed before the season. In a 789-word answer, Belichick veered into a discussion about how much better a team is by the end of the season because they have more practice time and a greater sense of what works for them that touched on criticisms of where his team is at this point in the year.
“Maybe I just can’t figure it out, but it’s incomprehensible to me how anybody could think that a team that’s practiced for six months and played 19 regular season and postseason games and had triple-digit practices, five months later, after not playing a game, after having a fraction of that type of experience, could be anywhere close to the level of execution that they were five months before that after all of the things that I just listed,” Belichick said in comments distributed by the team. “I mean, it’s impossible in my view. So, each year, you start all over again. You start that process all over again. You build your team over the course of the year though practice repetitions, through preseason to regular season games, through the evolving of your scheme, and that’s why each year is different and unique. But, I understand I’m in the minority and most other people don’t see it that way, which is OK, but that’s the way I see it.”
The Patriots aren’t a finished product, in other words, but they are in first place in the AFC East and that’s a pretty good place to be while you polish up the rough edges.