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Bill Belichick bullish on NFL cutting back on preseason games

Bill Belichick is not necessarily an advocate of the NFL’s reported interest in trimming the amount of preseason games, as the New England Patriots head coach emphasized the importance of the exhibitions when it comes to evaluating players on the roster bubble.

The latest word on the NFL’s deliberations related to potentially cutting back on the preseason came courtesy of a report Wednesday from Mark Maske of The Washington Post. The league evidently is contemplating a move to only three exhibitions — or perhaps only two games — as soon as 2021.

During a conference call Friday morning following Thursday’s 31-29 loss to the New York Giants in the team’s final tune-up ahead of the regular season, Belichick explained why he finds preseason games so valuable.

“I’m not going to get into all that,” Belichick said, via NESN. “I think you can figure it out, you’re a smart guy.

“The more games you play, the more opportunities people have. Look at the Giants last night. If you want to cut out this game, then go ahead and cut it out, but it gave (Quarterback Kyle) Lauletta a chance to play half the game. It gave (Alex) Tanney a chance to play half the game. It gave (Daniel) Jones a chance to play.

“So if you want to get rid of the game, then get rid of the game and don’t play those guys. Do whatever you want on that.”

Belichick’s comments on Friday echoed what he said earlier in the week when he stressed that preseason games are one of the only ways a coaching staff can truly evaluate players, especially those on the fringes, before setting a final roster for the regular season. Whether the NFL follows through on limiting the amount of preseason games teams play, it appears Belichick would prefer it if the league instead maintained the status quo.