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Patriots share Bill Belichick’s locker room speech after AFC title game

The New England Patriots took an unconventional path to a ninth Super Bowl appearance by having to play on the road in the AFC Championship Game and earning a win courtesy of a thrilling overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

In the postgame locker room inside Arrowhead Stadium, a fired-up Bill Belichick had an inspiring message with his players, video of which was shared by the Patriots on the team’s official site.

“Congratulations, men,” Belichick said, as transcribed by NESN. “Congratulations. This is everything we talked about, competing on the road against other good football team at this time of year. You guys kept battling, kept competing. They certainly made their plays, we made a few more. You guys did a great job and that is what it’s going to be like. The next game will be tougher than this one, but that is the way it’s supposed to be when you go all the way through.

“Enjoy this one, you earned it. You deserve it. Give these guys credit now, they are a good football team. Obviously, so are the Rams. You guys played your ass off and you guys deserved to be champions.”

Much is made of Belichick’s curmudgeonly ways, and his Belichickian tendencies obviously can rub some people — presumably even some of his own players — the wrong way.

There have been occasions when ex-players have taken a pot shot at their former coach after leaving the team, but for the most part, those on the roster seem to buy in fully to Belichick’s “Patriot Way.”

Few know how Belichick conducts himself behind closed doors when it comes to interactions with his players, but the above locker room footage following the Patriots’ AFC title game triumph allows us a peek behind the curtain.

Belichick without question demands loyalty of his players, but the occasionally irascible head coach obviously is capable of serving as an inspirational figure and master motivator.