Belichick didn't freeze Cundiff so kicker could feel pressure

Billy Cundiff said confusion over what down it was caused him to rush through his attempt to tie Sunday's AFC Championship Game in the closing seconds. On Monday, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he considered freezing Cundiff but thought better of it when he saw the Baltimore Ravens' confusion.

"We thought about it, we talked about it," Belichick said in an interview on WEEI-AM in Boston, via the Carroll County (Md.) Times. "I thought they were a little late making the substitution. I thought that they sent it out a little bit late. It was fourth-and-2, something like that. I thought maybe they might have even lost track of the downs. It just seemed like it was a late substitution.

"It just seemed to me like they were rushing a little bit. I felt we were better off letting them go, letting them rush and handle it under pressure rather than give them a chance to settle down and get it all lined up properly. We definitely thought about it."

Belichick's instincts proved correct, as Cundiff's 32-yield field-goal try sailed wide left, sending the Patriots, not the Ravens, to Super Bowl XLVI.

On Tuesday, Belichick was asked by reporters about Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who's reportedly on track to play in the Super Bowl despite an ankle injury. Belichick didn't provide much of an update, saying the team will "see how it goes with Rob and some of other players," according to the Boston Herald.

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Belichick said it can be "hard to gauge injuries."

Belichick had kind words for Giants coach Tom Coughlin, with whom he served on New York's staff in the late 1980s.

"I have a lot of respect for Tom," Belichick said, according to The Star-Ledger. "He's definitely stood the test of time in a couple organizations. ... He's tough, he's very disciplined, got a lot of experience, an intense coach. and I think that's reflected in the way his teams play."

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