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Belichick Zings Reporters About 'Second Gear' In Monday Presser

BOSTON (CBS) -- Bill Belichick likes football players who can take their games up a notch in the biggest of moments. Much like a writer who's working on a big scoop.

The Patriots head coach was asked during his Monday press conference at Gillette Stadium about the ability of receiver Brandin Cooks to control his speed and go to another level when needed. Belichick, who has recently praised Cooks' work ethic, commented on the ability of players he's coached in the past to find that extra level at the most important times, one of whom is a Hall of Famer.

"I think all players like that, there's an element of [the second gear] to them. A guy who plays every play can play hard. But, realistically, there's another level, there's another gear at certain times, whether it be critical plays or a particular play," said Belichick. "I'd say, in my experience, some of the good or great players have been able to identify and achieve that kind of play. Lawrence Taylor was one. He played hard. He was a tough player, one of the most competitive players I've ever coached, but every play wasn't the top play. But, every important play was.

"But, you know, I saw that from a lot of guys through the years playing against them and players that I coached, guys like [Randy] Moss or [Tedy] Bruschi, [Willie] McGinest. Some of their biggest plays were at the most critical times, which is what made them great players."

And in comparing the aforementioned players to Cooks, he couldn't resist sprinkling in a joke about the media.

"Not saying Brandin does or doesn't have [a second gear]," said Belichick. "I don't think we've really been through that enough with him, but I think there's an element of that. Kind of like you guys. You know, you write your best stories on Sunday or whatever. Yeah, have some good ones, but then when you really need that top story, that's when you really push the pencil a little harder on the paper."

Belichick hasn't always been the happiest person in the world when fielding questions from reporters, but he's taken a lighter approach to it in recent years. This little joke is just the latest example. No matter what the coach's mood is during his press conferences, they continue to be the gift that keeps on giving.

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