Bill Belichick is not the type of guy to rest on his laurels, but in the midst of a potentially historic season the Patriots head coach used a portion of his bye week to recharge his proverbial batteries and reconnect with his kids.
"I got a little family time," Belichick said of his bye week in his first press conference following the week off. "I got caught up with a little football this weekend. Just watching the kids play. Football, lacrosse, whatever it is."
He also had time to take note of the interesting score of last weekend's Navy game against North Texas. Belichick's father, Steve, was a longtime coach and scout at the Academy and the institution still has a stronghold on the Patriots coach's heart.
"I thought it was a basketball score when I first heard it," Belichick said of Navy's 74-62 win. "That's a lot of points. What was it, 130 points, something like that?
"Paul (Johnson, Navy's head coach) has done a great job there. They've done a great job. They can certainly move the ball."
As much as Belichick might like to continue with the laid-back pleasantries that come with a bye week and a team that blew through the first half of the season with a 9-0 mark, getting back to work means turning his attention back to business. Before taking time off with his family last week, Belichick and his assistants used the extra time to do some self scouting on their own performances through the first nine games.
While the coach would never even hint at what his staff found in that work, those notes will be employed as the team embarks on the second half of the season. That march toward a potential undefeated season starts up again this Sunday night with a trip to Buffalo to take on the Bills.
"We've had a chance to look at a few things from the first half of the season, but I think the most important thing is to make it specific to Buffalo," Belichick said. "You get a chance to look at some of your own tendencies -- how much you're doing certain things in certain situations. We do that every week, but you just get a little more time to analyze it, both from a tendency standpoint and a production standpoint, how it's going. We've done a little more of that than we normally do, but fundamentally it's getting ready for your next opponent, and that's Buffalo."
The time for relaxation is now completely in the rearview mirror. It's back to business, back to Belichick's usual coach speak and unbreakable focus on the coming week's opponent.
His players got five days off to regroup for the next seven weeks and a potential march toward a fourth Super Bowl title in seven seasons. Belichick thinks his troops took full advantage of the well-earned break and should be ready to turn the focus back to football and the tasks that lie ahead.
"I don't think we had to tell anybody to get away," Belichick joked of the extended break. "I don't think there were too many saying 'Boy, I wish we were going to practice this week. I'm really disappointed that we're not coming in.' No, I don't think there was too much of that, but we're looking forward to this game. I can tell that already. We're looking forward to getting back at it, getting out there on the practice field and getting ready for the challenges that Buffalo brings, which are numerous."