Belichick hints Houston’s turf is to blame for Welker injury

Sports Radio Interviews is a streaming independent sports blog which provides analysis on breaking sports news, upcoming games, and sporting events from a sports radio perspective. SRI articles frequently appear on SportingNews.com.

New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick says the turf at Houston's Reliant Stadium is "terrible".
New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick says the turf at Houston’s Reliant Stadium is “terrible”.

He was criticized for going for it on fourth down. His team struggled mightily on the road. His team wasn’t as dominant as it was just a few years ago. His leading pass catcher, Wes Welker, was injured in Week 17 and will miss the playoffs. Nonetheless, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are back in the playoffs, are AFC East champions again, and are looking to win another Super Bowl.

Belichick joined the Big Show on WEEI in Boston and talked about the game against the Houston Texans this past weekend, the field at Reliant Stadium, Welker’s season-ending injury, and the Patriots’ upcoming playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Asked about his plan for the final game, and if that changed when Welker went down with the injury:
"No, not really. I’d say we pretty much played everybody and we got guys some experience, in normal situations and in some situations that they hadn’t been in. For example, [Brian] Hoyer.

I think that’s kind of what we wanted to do going into the game. Everybody played. Everybody got a chance to get some work, of the guys that were active."

Asked if he thought there was any problem with Houston’s turf:
"The turf down there is terrible. It’s terrible. It’s just inconsistent. It’s all the little trays of grass, and some of them are soft, and some of them are firm, and they don’t all fit well together. Those seams — some of it feels like a sponge, some of it feels real firm and hard like the Miami surface. One step you’re on one, the other step you’re on another. I really think it’s one of the worst fields I’ve seen."

Asked about Welker making the same cut he’s made before, only this time getting injured:
"For the level of play we have in the National Football League, I think consistency on the field would be priority number one. We talk about players’ safety, about hits and all that, and that’s certainly an area that should always be addressed. There’s nothing more important than player safety. To me, player safety starts on the surface that we play on … I walked out there and I thought it was terrible."

Asked how much time did he spent planning for Baltimore:
"Not too much time formulating a game plan, but quite a bit of time getting ready for them and preparing for them. Watching the game. That’s the team I spent all my time watching, and you never know how it’s going to turn out, but [we] kind of played the percentages that the Jets would win and that Baltimore would beat the Raiders, and that sewed it up …

We’ve seen a lot of them. And we have a lot of scouting work done on them. Today, we’ll start on the game plan, tonight and tomorrow, and have that ready when the players come in on Wednesday. But they’re, in a way, the same team we saw, but in another way, they’ve evolved like all of us have over the course of the season, and they’re solid in all three phases of the game."

On how the Ravens have evolved:
"They seem to be a little more balanced running and passing. We got a lot of passing — I think [Joe Flacco] threw almost 50 times against us. I think it was 40-something. And [Ray] Rice is their leading receiver with 70-something catches. They get the ball to everybody, obviously the backs and the receivers…

It seems like they’ve balanced it up a bit with the running game and with Rice and, of course, [Willis] McGahee had a big day for them yesterday. [Jared] Gaither is back on the offensive line, and they’re using [Chris] Chester a little bit as a second tight end, and [Marshal] Yanda is playing a little bit more. It seems like they’ve gotten a little bit bigger. And [LeRon McClain] has had a real good year for them, and that’s helped them in the running game, too."

Listen to Bill Belichick on the Big Show on WEEI in Boston

===

More from SRI

Brandon Marshall on how he’s perceived
Philip Rivers on going into the playoffs with a bye week

Sports Radio Interviews is a streaming independent sports blog which provides analysis on breaking sports news, upcoming games, and sporting events from a sports radio perspective. SRI articles frequently appear on SportingNews.com.

New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick says the turf at Houston's Reliant Stadium is "terrible".
New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick says the turf at Houston’s Reliant Stadium is “terrible”.

He was criticized for going for it on fourth down. His team struggled mightily on the road. His team wasn’t as dominant as it was just a few years ago. His leading pass catcher, Wes Welker, was injured in Week 17 and will miss the playoffs. Nonetheless, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are back in the playoffs, are AFC East champions again, and are looking to win another Super Bowl.

Belichick joined the Big Show on WEEI in Boston and talked about the game against the Houston Texans this past weekend, the field at Reliant Stadium, Welker’s season-ending injury, and the Patriots’ upcoming playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Asked about his plan for the final game, and if that changed when Welker went down with the injury:
"No, not really. I’d say we pretty much played everybody and we got guys some experience, in normal situations and in some situations that they hadn’t been in. For example, [Brian] Hoyer.

I think that’s kind of what we wanted to do going into the game. Everybody played. Everybody got a chance to get some work, of the guys that were active."

Asked if he thought there was any problem with Houston’s turf:
"The turf down there is terrible. It’s terrible. It’s just inconsistent. It’s all the little trays of grass, and some of them are soft, and some of them are firm, and they don’t all fit well together. Those seams — some of it feels like a sponge, some of it feels real firm and hard like the Miami surface. One step you’re on one, the other step you’re on another. I really think it’s one of the worst fields I’ve seen."

Asked about Welker making the same cut he’s made before, only this time getting injured:
"For the level of play we have in the National Football League, I think consistency on the field would be priority number one. We talk about players’ safety, about hits and all that, and that’s certainly an area that should always be addressed. There’s nothing more important than player safety. To me, player safety starts on the surface that we play on … I walked out there and I thought it was terrible."

Asked how much time did he spent planning for Baltimore:
"Not too much time formulating a game plan, but quite a bit of time getting ready for them and preparing for them. Watching the game. That’s the team I spent all my time watching, and you never know how it’s going to turn out, but [we] kind of played the percentages that the Jets would win and that Baltimore would beat the Raiders, and that sewed it up …

We’ve seen a lot of them. And we have a lot of scouting work done on them. Today, we’ll start on the game plan, tonight and tomorrow, and have that ready when the players come in on Wednesday. But they’re, in a way, the same team we saw, but in another way, they’ve evolved like all of us have over the course of the season, and they’re solid in all three phases of the game."

On how the Ravens have evolved:
"They seem to be a little more balanced running and passing. We got a lot of passing — I think [Joe Flacco] threw almost 50 times against us. I think it was 40-something. And [Ray] Rice is their leading receiver with 70-something catches. They get the ball to everybody, obviously the backs and the receivers…

It seems like they’ve balanced it up a bit with the running game and with Rice and, of course, [Willis] McGahee had a big day for them yesterday. [Jared] Gaither is back on the offensive line, and they’re using [Chris] Chester a little bit as a second tight end, and [Marshal] Yanda is playing a little bit more. It seems like they’ve gotten a little bit bigger. And [LeRon McClain] has had a real good year for them, and that’s helped them in the running game, too."

Listen to Bill Belichick on the Big Show on WEEI in Boston

===

More from SRI

Brandon Marshall on how he’s perceived
Philip Rivers on going into the playoffs with a bye week

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*