BOSTON (CBS) -- The latest instance of the Patriots dancing around in an opponent's head happened back in October when the Miami Dolphins reportedly brought extra staff to Foxboro to guard their equipment for fear of tampering or other forms of cheating by the Patriots.
It's just another example of a team defeating themselves before they even take the field, focusing too much on the Patriots and not worrying enough about themselves. And Bill Belichick subtlely agreed with that notion when he responded to a question about the report.
When asked about whether he knew about the report and his thoughts on it, Belichick said: "I'm just worried about what we're doing, trying to coach our team. You'd have to talk to them about it."
Even if Belichick didn't mean that as a dig at the Dolphins and was simply offering up a typical Belichickian response to potential off-field drama, he nailed it with this simple answer. The Patriots don't bother themselves with issues outside of preparing their own football team for games. They spent that week focusing on preparing to play Miami while the Dolphins distracted themselves trying to protect the team from the Boogeyman, a.k.a. Belichick. It's obvious in retrospect, considering the Dolphins got waxed 36-7 in the game and had no chance of competing in it at any point.
The Patriots don't even need to do anything to outsmart their opponents. Their mere presence in the building makes teams' heads spin, distracting them from the tasks at hand. Belichick is better off knowing that teams are that paranoid about him, and he may be aware of this.
It would be the ultimate if Belichick popped out of a trash can in the visitors' locker room yelling "BOO!" The Krafts should slip a "Make sure to clean up your trash before you leave" into their conversations with Dolphins execs. Tom Brady should stand on the sidelines wagging an air pump in Ryan Tannehill's face. The paranoia has gotten so ridiculous at this point, the Patriots might as well have some fun with it.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Read more from Matt here. Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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