WACO _ Like most coaches and armchair quarterbacks, Baylor coach Art Briles was asked Tuesday his response to a controversial fourth down play called Sunday night by New England Patroits' coach Bill Belichick.
With the Pats ahead of the Indianapolis Colts 34-28 and 2:08 remaining in the game, Belichick ordered his team to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the New England 28. The play failed, and the Colts made the short journey to the end zone and won 35-34.
So, coach Briles, did coach Belichick make the right call?
"My initial response was: 'Wow, I can't believe he did that,' '' Briles said. "Now you flip it on the other side, I don't know how (the Patriots') punt team has been, I don't know how their coverage has been, I don't know how their defense has been playing, so I don't know all those factors that go into why he might make that decision.
"I do know they have good offensive personnel and they've got a pretty good quarterback (in Tom Brady) that can get the ball to somebody with a chance to make a first down.''
Briles believes the success Belichick's has had in winning three Super Bowls and numerous other big games may have gotten the best of him in the waning moments against the Colts.
"I tell you what happens a little bit in those situations -- and I don't think (Belichick) is any different than anybody else that coach the game of football or any sport,'' Briles said."It's when you have a lot of success you expect success.
"Some people may say, 'Well, he's arrogant for going for it.' I don't see that at all. What I see is a guy that's had a lot of success coaching the game of football, believes in what they're doing and has good memories to show that this has a good chance to work, so they believe it's going to happen. And I think that's a good thing.''
Briles said all coaches should employ one mantra every time they engage in play-calling.
"I think every time you call a play you ought to think it's going to work, so I don't see anything wrong with it,'' Briles said. "They make it, he's good.
"I remember back to the 1979 Cotton Bowl with Houston versus Notre Dame, and Houston went for a fourth down on their own 29 up by four or five late in the game and didn't make it. But what they'd come off of -- winning two out of the last three Southwest Conference championships. And so when you start having success you expect success.''
Has Briles ever made a controversial fourth down call similar to the one Belichick made against the Colts?
"From the 28? Hopefully. Probably,'' he said. "Like I said, there's just a lot of factors I think that go into it than just the initial "why did they do it in that situation.'
"Like I mentioned the special teams, how the defense is playing, wind in the game. There's a lot of factors that fall into it. And maybe the health and condition of maybe some of his defensive players.''
-- Dwain Price