Belichick, slipping into his old style of answering a question that wasn't asked, brushed aside one from a reporter who wanted to know if he might retire if the Patriots win on Sunday.
"Right now, I'm really thinking, 'What's the best thing I can do to help our football team on Sunday against the Giants?' I want to really try to do a good job in the job that I have," he said.
More important, he really likes the job and all that comes with it: drafting, trading, practicing, coaching games, teaching rookies and working with veterans.
"I enjoy the competition on a weekly basis," Belichick said, "not just on Sundays, but the preparation leading up into the game. I enjoy all of it. It beats working."
His players know him as a demanding taskmaster, wielding a sharp needle when he needs to get a point across.
Heath Evans spent four years as a running back with the Patriots until 2008. He was an articulate, honest, go-to guy for reporters seeking quotes in a locker room of players cautious not to upset Belichick by saying too much.
"I remember one day at a meeting he said, 'Hey, Heath, no more state of the union addresses, OK?' " Evans recalled. "Light was behind me and started laughing and pounding on my shoulders."
But Evans also remembers Belichick coming up to him at practice, patting him on the back and saying quietly, "Nice play."
That kind of encouragement, Evans said, lifts a player's spirits just when he thinks Belichick may have lost confidence in him.
Of course, players have seen a lot more of Belichick's personality than the public.
On Thursday, he showed up for his media session wearing a lilac shirt. The hoodies have been out of sight all week.
Why, a reporter asked, was he finally showing a more relaxed side?
"That's different than the way it normally is?" Belichick asked as the room erupted in laughter.
"I'll leave that to you," he said, "to the experts."
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