Belichick: Patriots use rulebook to ‘maximize our opportunities’

By Sam Galanis

Bill Belichick knows the NFL rulebook like the back of his hand, so it’s not shocking that the New England Patriots head coach had a lot to say about his team’s preparation for league miscues like Monday’s.

The “Monday Night Football” referees blew an illegal bat call by the Seattle Seahawks, spoiling the Detroit Lions’ chances at winning the matchup. And Belichick mentioned that his suggestion that all plays be challengeable hasn’t changed a bit.

“I think the officials work hard to do a good job,” Belichick said in a conference call Tuesday. “I think (NFL vice president of officiating) Dean (Blandino) does a really good job of communicating with the clubs and trying to get everybody on the same page. But the volume of the rules, the number of people that are involved, the closeness … of so many plays, how tough it is to officiate and all the procedures that have to be dealt with, the protocols and so forth. … I think I’ve gone on record on this stuff before, so I’ll just leave it at that.”

Former linebacker Rosevelt Colvin also said Monday that Belichick made the Patriots practice batting rules in the past, and the coach said the team often works on situations like these.

“The whole sideline, ball security, whistle, all those kind of ball possession plays, those are very important for everybody to understand, and we stress those a lot,” Belichick said. “Any time the ball is loose, like it was in last night’s game, try to make sure everybody understands what they can do, what they can’t do.”

It should also come as no surprise that Belichick digs deep into the rulebook to make sure his players know what to do.

“In the end we try to look at the rulebook as a useful tool, something that can benefit us if we know what we have to work with, how to make the best of a situation based on the way the rules are written and try to maximize our opportunities there,” Belichick said.

 

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