FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is having a happy Tuesday, which was obvious near the end of his conference call when he just kept talking ... and talking ... and talking. Twenty-five minutes later, the call was finally over.
The topic that got him going is one that is close to his football heart -- special teams -- as he said at one point, "It's great to be sitting here on a Tuesday talking about all this punting."
As for the context of how it unfolded, the opening question of the call was about the effectiveness of Patriots punter Ryan Allen, which Belichick had answered coming off Allen's strong performance in Sunday's season finale. When a reporter who had not been on the call initially asked about Allen again as a final question, Belichick decided to take the deep dive with a six-minute answer on the fine points of the position and coaching it.
When the reporter thanked Belichick for the detailed answer, the call was supposed to end, except Belichick decided he had more to add.
"It's great. You [usually] don't have a chance to do that," he said of the extended media tutorial, before adding how much he enjoyed coaching special teams and punters such as Dave Jennings and Tom Tupa. "Earlier in my career, those guys were all right-footed punters, and they were all good and could really do a lot of good things. Have had a lot of left-footed punters recently, so you kind of have to look at it a little bit differently. But the fundamentals are still the same."
At that point, after Belichick had noted how those punters were also effective handling the football, the call was set to end again.
But Belichick chimed in to extend it, moving on to a different position.
"Same thing with kickers, really," he said. "You go back to [Matt] Stover [with the Browns]. He was pretty good. Obviously Adam [Vinatieri] and Steve [Gostkowski] here, I've been real fortunate to have good specialists at that position," he said.
And, of course, he couldn't conclude without capping off the trifecta.
"Same thing with the snappers -- Lonie [Paxton], Joe [Cardona]. Joe's done a really good job for us. Lonie was great," he said. "You know, it's nice to put your head on a pillow and not have to worry too much about those positions."