The Patriots boast one intangible advantage over the remaining NFL playoff teams that goes beyond simply having Bill Belichick and Tom Brady: experience. But if you ask Belichick about the E-word, he’ll tell you that it doesn’t matter.
Belichick highlighted the Patriots’ Wednesday media availability with a particularly biting answer to a question about playoff experience. A reporter pressed him, asking why he believes experience won’t matter when the Patriots and Jaguars meet in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
His answer, and other notable quotes from Wednesday’s press conferences, can be read below.
Bill Belichick on why playoff experience means nothing:
“Because we’re talking about the teams that are gonna compete on Sunday. That’s what’s gonna determine the winner in that competition. It’s what happens Sunday, not what happened last year, two years ago, five years ago, 15 years ago, 1996, whatever it is. Those games don’t make any difference. With all due respect.”
Rob Gronkowski on why Gillette Stadium is a tough place to play for opponents:
“For many reasons. Our fans are always coming out. I remember last year I was watching in the stands, and they were going bazooka. They were super loud, super proud.”
Matthew Slater on why the Patriots never “go there” with questions about opponents’ comments:
“I will answer that with a question. Why do we need to go there?”
Devin McCourty on negative comments from other players surrounding Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles:
“It’s kind of crazy, you know, the guy is still playing football. All those guys that said that, I’m sure they want to be in his spot right now playing in the championship game. But I’ve seen some of his interviews, and he seems like he has a great attitude, laughing about it and cracking jokes. And I think you kind of see that out on the field – the guy is a winner. … When he is out there, he’s trying to put the team in the best situation, and it shows up. I think you can throw out stats and you can do all that stuff, but at the end of the day, the only thing anybody cares about is winning, and obviously his team is playing in the AFC Championship. They’ve won a lot of games this year.”
Listen to the AFC Championship Game on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Sunday, starting with pregame coverage at noon!