"We've dealt with some non-Tennessee subjects here over the last few days," the Patriots coach said. "At this point I'm all in on Tennessee. I'll answer any questions about the Titans but that's it."
Sounds fair enough, considering the top-seeded Patriots host the fifth-seeded Titans on Saturday at Foxborough, Mass.
That hasn't been the focus in recent days, however, as rumors surrounding a possible departure for Belichick swirled following a recent ESPN report citing unnamed sources detailing a growing rift between the head coach, quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft. According to the report, Belichick was furious and demoralized when Kraft sided with Brady on the decision to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers.
After saying he hadn't read the article and had nothing to add to it on Monday, Belichick was on the receiving end of Titans-related questions to begin Tuesday's press conference. He was asked about quarterback Marcus Mariota, a 2015 game versus Tennessee, as well as Logan Ryan and Jurrell Casey among others before receiving the following inquiry:
"In preparing for Tennessee, did you address any of those non-Tennessee subjects that you just mentioned to the team?"
Belichick didn't miss a beat.
"Yeah, we're on Tennessee," he said.
It's a familiar refrain that he's used in various forms since coining the phrase, "We're on to Cincinnati" following a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014.