Patriots coach Bill Belichick revealed little about his plans to play or not to play his starters this week in a conference call with Houston media earlier today. Belichick was asked right off the bat whether he'll start Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker on Sunday.
Belichick, whose team has clinched the AFC East and can do no better than the No. 3 seed, laughed and then paused before giving a veiled answer to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain.
"Um, I would expect they be there," he said.
And then, after another pause:
"You got them on your fantasy football team, John?"
McClain followed that by asking Belichick whether he hesitated to play his starters at the end of the 2007 season. The Patriots clinched the AFC's No. 1 seed with a few weeks left in the season but were in pursuit of a perfect 16-0 record.
"You know, right now, we're just thinking about getting ready for Houston," Belichick said. "Whatever we did, we did what we felt was best for our football team, and that's what we'll always do is what's best for this team. Right now, we're just getting ready to play the Texans, and that's a big challenge for us."
We'll have the full transcript and audio of Belichick's interview up on HoustonTexans.com later today.