How Bill Belichick is preparing for a game that is 'unlike any other' and helping his team avoid 'burnout'

Mike Petraglia
February 01, 2017 - 4:47 am
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[caption id="attachment_116709" align="alignright" width="400"] Bill Belichick laughs during the New England Patriots media session at the JW Marriott Galleria. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)[/caption] HOUSTON -- When you've been to seven Super Bowls, you pretty much know the drill. Such is the case for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. But even with that experience comes the challenge of pacing yourself on the game day unlike any other in the NFL. When Brady spoke Monday night of trying to monitor his early energy in Super Bowl LI, he brought up the point about how important it is to save his best play for the end of the game. "It's a long day. It's a long game. There's long breaks, long halftime, long pre-game, a lot of emotional energy," Brady said. "I think sometimes what happens is as the game goes on… we scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter against Seattle. I think some of the best football needs to be played at the end. "So, you can't waste all your energy before that. There's some of these games that get out of hand for one reason or another. We've never had those. I hope that… I'd love for it to get out of hand in our hand. We've been in too many of these close games to realize its pretty unlikely for that to happen." Belichick echoed those sentiments Tuesday and detailed the challenges he faces as a head coach to monitor his players during the early parts of the Super Bowl. "That's a very challenging situation because there is so much leading up to the game," Belichick said. "It's such a long game between pregame, the start of the game, halftime, TV timeouts and so forth. It just extends longer than what it normally does including the pregame part of it. "We just try and pace ourselves through that. Some of that is nutrition, hydration and things like that. Part of it is an understanding of what it's going to be like so you don't get surprised and get into the middle of the game or the middle of the third quarter. That's kind of when the game would be ending but there's still another 20 minutes to play or so. I think understanding that and making sure that the pace of the game for each individual, which is different, for an offensive line or defensive line, the pace is a little different than receivers or defensive backs that are running 30, 40, 50 yards to cover. "It's the difference between boxing and distance running. Then, you have a lot of guys in between. It's definitely challenging but it's the same for both teams. It's the same environment. Everyone needs to try and maximize all those things, their rest, attentiveness and pace so they don't burn out too soon. It's a challenge. This game is unlike any other that way."