Belichick reflects on season, says it's 'time to move on' from Super Bowl loss
BOSTON -- Bill Belichick isn't looking back.
With the sting still fresh of the stunning Super Bowl loss that ruined the Patriots unbeaten season, their coach hasn't watched tape of the game yet or analyzed everything that went wrong. And that exit from the field with one second left after he congratulated New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin?
"I wasn't really sure of the time," Belichick said in a conference call Tuesday. "Everybody started on to the field and then I got over there and I wanted to congratulate Tom. I've been in that situation before after the game. I wanted to get over there and congratulate him and congratulate him on the championship. There really wasn't much left at that point."
Just enough time for Eli Manning to kneel down with the ball as the final second ticked off, ending New York's 17-14 win and finishing New England's season at 18-1 rather than 19-0.
"It's a disappointing end to a lot of good things that happened this season," Belichick said. "We played a lot of good football, but we're certainly disappointed about the way it ended. We came so close, but it just didn't work out.
"It takes a lot to get to this point, but now it's starting over, into the '08 season. It's already time to move on. We're into the offseason and that's just the way it is. We'll start moving ahead toward next year."
He wasn't ready to talk much about next season, not just two days after the Patriots first loss in four Super Bowls in the Belichick-Tom Brady era. And not when sound judgment can be clouded by lingering disappointment.
A cooling-off period is important before making important decisions, such as whether to retire, Belichick said.
"I have said this in previous years and I would say it every year," he said. "I don't think the day after the season is a great time to make decisions about anything.
"So how those players feel now, and how they might feel a week from now, or two weeks from now, or a month from now, could be entirely different. I've certainly seen that in my career as a coach and I've had feelings after a game, that after a period of time have shifted a bit too for various reasons. ... A lot of times those are emotional decisions and not really good fundamental ones."
Right after the Super Bowl, Seau said, "I haven't thought about the future. I am having too much fun." He said, losing the game "will not affect my decision."
He already retired once, after the 2005 season, but changed his mind a few days later and signed with the Patriots.
Bruschi and Harrison did not comment on possible retirement after the Super Bowl. Belichick, meanwhile, is looking ahead to free agency, the draft and spring minicamp.
First, he plans to rewatch the game. Some of his coaches already have looked at it.
"It's certainly part of the overall season evaluation," Belichick said. "I just haven't had a chance to watch it yet."
Losing a game they were heavily favored to win was the low point of a record-setting season; 589 total points, 50 touchdown passes by Brady and 23 scoring receptions by Randy Moss all broke NFL records.
Still, it can be difficult to focus on accomplishments so soon after allowing the winning touchdown to the Giants with just 35 seconds left between the Patriots and what would have been the best record in NFL history.
"It's time to move on," Belichick said. "I'm not going to sit here and dwell on anything, good or bad, that happened in the past. It is what it is. We played our last game of the '07 season."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Giants co-owner Ann Mara dies at age 85
- Rodgers tops Watt, collects 2nd MVP award
- Seau, Bettis, Shields among 8 in HOF class
- Cardinals' Arians wins 2nd coach of year honor
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
SUPER BOWL XLII
Game coverage• Belichick ready to move on from Super Bowl loss
• Nevada sports books lose record $2.6M
• View to a thrill: Record 97.5 million watch XLII
• Giants' win shatters viewership records
• Clayton: Can the Giants repeat?
• Simmons: Free fallin'
• Giants spoil Pats' perfect season
• Wojciechowski: Blame Pats for this debacle
• Wickersham: Brady dazed and confused
• Clayton: Eli lets instincts take over
• Clayton: N.Y. 'misfits' harass Brady
• Sando: Was Brady rattled?
• Mosley: Belichick left a second early
• Chadiha: Ten things we learned
• Garber: Tyree's catch one for the ages
• Zoom galleries 1 | 2 | Great SB upsets
• SportsNation: Best Super Bowl?
• SportsNation: Biggest SB upset?
• SportsNation: Your favorite commercials?
Commentary/Features• Clayton: Top five contenders for the next SB
• '72 Fins breathe sigh of relief after Giants win
• Chadiha: Giants enjoy underdog role
• Sando: Coughlin, Giants made it work
• Super Bowl picks: Our experts weigh in
• Merrill: Nine previously perfect Patriots
• Merrill: Harrison deals with his rep just fine
• Clayton: Giants' O-line worthy of accolades
• Pasquarelli: Tip Sheet
• Pasquarelli: Tip Sheet notes
• Wojciechowski: 15 reasons Patriots will win
• E-ticket: Patriots' man of mystery
• Sunday Countdown
• Clayton's First and Goal
• Chadiha: Giants miss Shockey
• Garber: Injured war vet inspires Giants
• Pasquarelli: The Pats' crucial cameos
• Garber: In Brady's world, insecurity remains
• Merrill: Hixon's traumatizing season
• Football Outsiders: SB numbers crunching
• Pasquarelli: Patriots' silent sentinel
• Wojciechowski: Unflappable Eli
• Sando: Brady rising among all-time QBs
• Chadiha: Giants' rookies playing prominent role
• Fleming: Cardinals/Pottsville Curse
• Clayton: Youth serving Giants well
• Chadiha: Ranking the best QBs by decade
• Klancnik: Top QBs by jersey number
• Hashmarks: Media day coverage | Gallery
• Pasquarelli: Pats' old-school LBs
• Helyar: Marketing windfall for Eli Manning
• Garber: Seau's ring quest
• Pasquarelli: Bruschi's full-circle journey
• Animated plays
• From the research room
• Chadiha: Pierce just wants to win
• Wojciechowski: Explaining Bill Belichick
• Helyar: Recession? Not at Super Bowl!
• Giants' Snee doesn't stray from roots
• Sando: Seymour in eye of storm
• Merrill: Welker scales new heights for Pats
• Pasquarelli: Brady is ready to play
• Garber: The preservation of Plaxico
• Pasquarelli: Hill's spirit lives on
• Clayton: Giants' juggling act at CB works
• Wickersham: Giant ideas
• Klosterman: All too perfect
• Crown Jewels: A look at Super Bowl rings
• FB Outsiders: Giants one of worst SB teams
• Helyar: Patriots will drive TV ratings
• Clayton: First and goal
• Chadiha: Giants' glory road
• Mosley: Brady's ankle saves the week
• Woj: Preseason predictions revisited
• Merrill: David Woodley's dark spotlight
• Former SB QBs: Plunkett | Rypien | Ferragamo
• More: Morton | Humphries | Hostetler | Eason
• Starting matchups of Super Bowl QBs
• Ranking the QB performances: 1-40 | 41-82
• Jaworski: Six Super Bowl surprises
• Joyner: Brady's bad decisions
• Clayton: Eli's managing fine
• Chadiha: Focused Giants
• AccuScore simulation: Pats to prevail
• Chadiha: First Look at the Super Bowl
• Playoff schedule
• Vermeil doubts spying made difference for Pats
• Fish: Ex-Ram Warner suspicious of Pats in SB XXXVI
• Report: Pats taped Rams' SB walk-through
• Specter to Goodell: Let's talk
• Fish: Possible 'Spygate' witness surfaces
• Easterbrook: NFL can blame itself for scandal's timing
• Munson: Congressional interest serious
• Pasquarelli: Specter should stick with politics
• Clayton: Spy saga won't distract Patriots
• Hashmarks at Goodell's news conference
• Specter to Goodell (.pdf)
• Goodell to Specter (.pdf)
Page 2• Gallo: Five stages of heartbreak for Pats' fans
• Hill: Best Super Bowl parties
• Hill: Teflon Tom Brady
• Popculture roundtable on the Super Bowl
• Hill: Raiders quit on Moss
• Flem File at the Super Bowl
• Fleming: Defining greatness
• Best teams never to win a title
• TMQ: Title-game analysis
• Why Boston teams are so good
• Gallo: Countdown to kickoff
• More from Page 2
News• Brady ankle not on injury report
• Brady on Plax prediction: Only 17 points for Pats?
• Carey named first black Super Bowl referee
• Brady practices in Pats' first Super Bowl session
• Ross gets sick as unified Giants face flu
• NFL not worried about spying
• Security high for Super Bowl
• Williams to be honored during Super Bowl
• Bootless Brady departs for Arizona
• Tickets reselling for average of $4,300
• Burress: Giants' receivers are better
Scouts Inc.• Roundtable: Seven scouts weigh in
• Super Bowl XLII X Factors
• Coaching comparison: Styles vary, results same
• Defensive line breakdowns
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 5)
• Matchups to watch in Super Bowl XLII
• Running-game breakdown
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 4)
• QB tale of the the tape
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 3)
• Ranking NFL QBs 1-64
• Take II on Super Bowl XLII
• Giants' DBs overmatched or underrated?
• Horton: Notes from film room (Day 2)
• Horton: 10 things to watch in SB XLII
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 1)
• A tale of two underrated O-lines
• Take I on Super Bowl XLII
• Players ranked Nos. 1-106
SportsNation• Vote: Which team will win?
• Vote: Who wins the head-to-head matchups?
• Vote: Which team are you rooting for?
• Conversation: Talk Super Bowl XLII
• Map: Which states are picking the Giants?
• Quiz: 42 Super Bowl history questions
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Hello from Arizona!
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Live from Media Day
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Live with oddsmaker
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Live with Matt Hasselbeck
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Live with Gregg Easterbrook
• Rank: Super Bowl's best individual performances
• Rank: Super Bowl coaches
• Rank: Super Bowl careers
• Rank: Super Bowl teams
• Rank: Super Bowl games
• Rank: Greatest all-time quarterbacks
• Vote: Potential for QB greatness?
• Quiz: Greatest quarterbacks
• ABCNews: Super Bowl or Super Tuesday?
• Chat Rewind: When did undefeated talk start?
• Vote: Can we proposition you?
• Pulse: What is SportsNation saying about XLII?