INDIANAPOLIS — On Sunday, he was telling jokes.
"I never had too much hospitality here until I went for it on fourth-and-2 (against the Indianapolis Colts in a 35-34 loss in 2009)," said New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. "And since then, I've been greeted in a lot more friendly manner than I have in the past."
On Monday, he was waxing poetic about the 1980s New York Giants (of course!) and what he has learned since his down days as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Belichick is ruining his reputation as a good-for-nothing interview.
On the "old" Giants, and in particular his relationship with then-receivers coach Tom Coughlin and former head coach Bill Parcells, Belichick couldn't have been more gracious.
"It was awesome," said Belichick of his experience as a Giants assistant. "We had a great staff and great players. One of the biggest things I learned, that I can't do today, but I know, is how tough those players were. We practiced every day in pads, every single day in pads. There were years that we practiced every single day on the turf before we had the grass practice fields."
On the experience of working with Coughlin and Parcells, Belichick said: "I respect a lot of things about Tom — his evaluation of talent, the way he attacks teams, his consistency, his discipline, his team's toughness, their resiliency — I would say all of those things. Bill (Parcells) has a lot of those characteristics as a coach. That was the way Tom was as an assistant coach. He was very disciplined and very detail-oriented."
Giants in Super Bowl Villiage
In a strange twist, the NFL has placed the New York Giants in the dead-center heart of downtown, the area known this week as "Super Bowl Village."
Let's be serious about this. If the Pats were placed in this spot, Coach Bill Belichick would most likely have gone ballistic.
Fans are everywhere. Giants players were spotted in the lobby being hounded by autograph seekers.
Clearly, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin took the cerebral route, since it was the hand he was dealt.
"For me to be concerned about something I had nothing to do with seems senseless," said Coughlin. "We tried to make our team aware of being in town and what that means. You have to make sure you understand the circumstances, and that you go forth as a pro."
The Giants came in a day after the Patriots and Coughlin was asked why.
"This is the path we followed four years ago. I thought it was a very good one," said Coughlin. "It came from research I had done prior to setting the exact schedule. I felt our players have plenty of time to be acclimated to the hotel, the setting, the meeting rooms. That will all be settled when we go to work on Wednesday. I thought it was very good for us, the last time we did it."
OK, Pats fans, collectively, "Ouch!"
This guy is on a Rolle
Want some early advice to any rookie reporter during the pre-game hype at Super Bowl XLVI?
Find the Giants Antrell Rolle.
In just a few minutes with the outspoken Giants cornerback, we were told that his defense comes to work this week with, "a bad-ass mentality."
And we also got to know about Rolle's affection for his quarterback. Not that they share much in common.
"I love him," said Rolle of Manning. "He's just not anything like me."
And finally, his words to live by, "If you're a baller, you are a baller."
That's how he dealt with the lockout.
"The lockout was the best thing to happen to me," he said
Did you know?
Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka missed the previous Super Bowl collision between Pats and Giants with a broken leg.
The former Boston College great noted that he doesn't wear the championship ring from Super Bowl XLII.
"I wore it a little bit when I first got it, but that was it," said Kiwanuka. "From there, I've been focused on getting a ring that I was actually on the field for."
No Plaxico guarantee yet!
Giants offensive lineman Chris Snee was reminded of ex-New York receiver Plaxico Burress' guarantee of victory in this game back in 2008 and immediately dismissed it.
"I'm not going to do that, but I will say if you need to be motivated for a game like this by someone predicting a score, you shouldn't be here."
So much for the bulletin board meaning anything.
No prediction here
The award for the strangest question of the day came from one of the Latin TV networks, who asked Tom Coughlin who he thought the MVP would be.
"If I had a crystal ball I'd answer that for you," said Coughlin. "I hope he'll be wearing a white jersey."
Weather today: Nice
Today will be another nice day in Indianapolis with temperatures expected to be around 58 degrees with a few clouds throughout the day.
Super Bowl superstars
Deion Branch has two of the top performances in Super Bowl history, with 11 and 10 receptions, good for a tie for No. 1 and No. 2 in Super Bowl history.
Now set for their fourth Super Bowl together, the Tom Brady-Branch relationship isn't lost on Branch.
"We're always going to have this bond," said Branch. "We're always going to be connected to each other for this one special reason, but I think the friendship that we have off the football field is more important than that. I think, now, we're just older."
Branch's numbers, of course, dropped off dramatically when he was traded to Seattle following the 2005 season, and he experienced a career resurgence when he was dealt back to New England last year.
Those in Indianapolis could be seeing double of patriots defensive back Devin McCourty this week.
McCourty's twin brother, Tennessee Titans defensive back Jason McCourty, is joining his brother for the Super Bowl festivities in Indy.
"It's pretty cool," said Devin McCourty. "For us, we have been there for each other in every situation. We talk every day about things we have to deal with in football and life. It's great to be able to have him there."
The McCourty brothers played their college football together at Rutgers, before Jason left one year before Devin.
Scarnecchia a big presence
He may be 63-years-old and hardly a physical presence, but Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is a force when coaching his massive pupils.
"Dante is a small guy, but I'll tell you he's a tough son of a gun," said defensive lineman Vince Wilfork. "I love him like he's my coach. Every offensive line coach that I have known, they love their offensive linemen. ... He's the only one who can yell at them, I'll tell you that. It will always be like that."
Scarnecchia is in his 30th year as an NFL coach, 29 with the Patriots in different roles, including currently also the assistant head coach. His one year away from the Pats was 1989 in Indianapolis as the offensive line coach for the Colts.