But in praising Vinatieri for his body of work, which included 18 game-winning kicks during his time in New England from 1996-2005, Belichick was also quick to praise his own kicker, Stephen Gostkowski.
“He doesn’t get too up, too down,” Belichick said. “He’s made a lot of big kicks for us. Kicked well, not perfect, but he hasn’t been too high on the highs or too low on the lows. He’s been very consistent with his work ethic, his discipline, his ability to adapt to different snappers, holders over the course of his career.
“That’s something you can’t control as a kicker, but you have to work with. He’s done a good job of that and hasn’t let it affect him, what he can control, which is his preparation and performance.’’
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.