FOXBOROUGH - Underneath the hoodie of Bill Belichick beats a human heart, and it was touched Sunday by the show of support he received from players and fans in the wake of his videotaping vice and subsequent penalty from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Yesterday, when rehashing New England's decisive and cathartic 38-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots coach praised both parties for their performance.
"I thought the players really stepped up and played with a lot of energy and we got a lot of good plays from a lot of people," said an upbeat Belichick. "It wasn't just one guy or one thing or one side of the ball or anything like that. I give them a lot of credit for the way they prepared and the way they played.
"I thought the fan support was terrific. You could really feel them behind us in this game. I was touched by some of the support that they gave. It was a good feeling. I think that this team has a lot of confidence in our fans and I kind of feel like the fans have confidence in us. That's a good situation."
No one supported Belichick with more passion than linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who stood at his locker after the game and defended his coach and his franchise.
"It meant a lot," said Belichick. "Nobody has more heart on this team than Tedy Bruschi and I mean that figuratively.
"The team was very supportive, the entire organization, starting with Mr. [Robert] Kraft going all the way down to the players and everybody else. Tedy, he's one of our emotional leaders. He's one of our best players. We have players who are well-respected. I don't think there's anybody who has any more respect on this team than Tedy does."
While Patriots players and coaches would love to put L'Affaire Videotape behind them, the NFL has asked the Patriots for all similar spying tapes like the one the league confiscated during New England's 38-14 win over the New York Jets Sept. 9 and any notes relating to them.
Belichick was evasive when asked about the commissioner's request for additional evidence, although he called it a fair question, saying the team will "handle it as an internal matter."
He was forthcoming when asked if he planned to turn over any additional tapes. "Of course," said Belichick.
When asked if the NFL had received or seized any additional tapes or notes from the Patriots, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "We don't have anything else to report on the matter right now."
When asked if the investigation was ongoing, Aiello said the league had no comment and pointed to the statement Goodell made following the punishment handed down to Belichick ($500,000 fine) and the organization ($250,000 fine and the loss of a first-round pick if the team makes the playoffs, second- and third-round picks if it does not). In that statement, released last Thursday, Goodell said he would "closely review and monitor the Patriots' coaching video program."
Goodell was more specific in an interview with NBC before the Patriots-Chargers game.
"I still reserve my right, and I have notified the Patriots, that if there is information that I have not been made aware of or is inconsistent with what I've been told, I will revisit that case," said Goodell.
Aiello also said the airing of the seized video by Fox Sunday will not have an impact on any investigation, but the fact that the video was aired disturbed the NFL.
"[We're] very concerned," Aiello said. "It should not have happened."
The scrutiny is not just on the Patriots' videotaping practices during the Jets game. According to an NBC report, there are also issues with the Patriots allegedly miking up a defensive lineman to pick up quarterback audibles. Goodell acknowledged in the NBC interview that there have also been rumors about coach-to-quarterback communication malfunctions. No team has publicly accused the Patriots of jamming their communications, but more than one has cited problems with the system when playing New England.
A league source said that putting microphones on players is not new, and that is why the league instituted a rule that teams had to report all players who were fitted with microphones before the game.
The same source also said that when coach-to-quarterback communication was introduced in 1994, the league told teams that opponents wouldn't be able to plug into the audio or bypass the 15-second cut-off.
"We're not technical people," said the source. "When some of those issues were raised, the league assured us it wouldn't happen."
According to AFC information manager Corry Rush, coach-to-quarterback communication is shut off at the 15-second mark on the play clock or when the ball is snapped, whichever occurs first. An NFL employee is responsible for terminating the communication link.
Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin said that the best way to end the questions about Belichick's spying methods is to keep turning in more performances like Sunday night's.
"There was nothing that we as players could have done with the situation and the fine or whatever the punishment was," said Colvin. "I think I said it earlier in the week - the best thing is to go out and perform and the rest of it will take care of itself. Everyone will have their opinion of how we win. We just got to win."
Mike Reiss of the Globe staff contributed to this report; Christopher L. Gasper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.