Robert Kraft: This year’s Patriots team reminds me of 2001 team

Patriots owner Robert Kraft told ESPN New York Radio 98.7 FM that this season is head coach Bill Belichick’s best coaching job of his career.

“This is his 14th season with us but I really think this might be his most outstanding coaching job,” Kraft said via ESPNBoston.com. “The way these guys have stepped up, ‘Next man up’ so to speak, has just been unbelievable.

“Of course, having [Tom] Brady at the helm — you think about it, your quarterback touches the ball usually 70 times in the course of a game; low 70s, high 60s. So you need someone with good judgment in that position who also understands how to manage the clock, what’s going on, and how to adapt. So we’re lucky to have that position filled at such a high level. And I think we’re lucky to have a coach that understands the game and pays attention to detail, and also adapts to whatever the situation [may be].”

Kraft said this year’s team reminds him of their 2001 championship team.

“This team we have now reminds me of our ’01 team,” he said of the first Super Bowl championship club of his ownership tenure. “It wasn’t the biggest names or collection of stars. It was a team that had a certain mental toughness and truly played together as a team. … I think this year the sense of team and putting team first is at the highest level. We’ve learned it’s not the teams that have the best collection of talent, but it’s the teams that really come together, especially in December and January.”