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January 31, 2012

Belichick unplugged

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."

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