The New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addressed the media during his conference call on Sunday, January 6, 2013, by stating:
“We’re full speed ahead here on Houston.”
Houston Texans 19-13 win over Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday really gives the New England Patriots an early head start.Although the Patriots faced the Texans in week 14, in Belichick’s perspective, the games are totally different and they never go the same way. Belichick expects Texans plays, calls, and matching ups to have some modifications just as the Patriots will have some of their own.
When addressing some of the personnel on their side, Belichick is well aware of the players that played during last game and the ones that have been added; for instance, Brooks Reed and Alan Ball. Belichick points out the recent game as a good point of reference; however, he sees the opponent as a whole instead of just focusing on one crucial player. From a defense stand, he recognizes how well Jonathan Joseph plays and also the good job Kareem Jackson does for the team in addition to Brandon Harris performance.
Talking about J.J. Watt, Belichick sees consistency as far as where J.J. Watts lines up which is not necessarily where he is going to end up after the ball is snapped. From that perspective, Belichick does not think the Texans look different than what they did earlier in this season. Again, Belichick is not just focusing on a particular player, but also on other players that are part of the problem such as Antonio Smith, Brooks Reed, Connor Barwin and Whitney Mercilus.
On their offensive side, Belichick praises Arian Foster as a focal point in terms of their offense – not only the yards Foster gain, but how the running game controls the game for this Texans offense. Besides Foster’s ability to make yards on his own, Belichick also notes great blockers that allow Foster to run the ball such as Chris Myers, Wade Smith and Duane Brown.
As we saw the return of Rob Gronkowski in week 17 and the difference it made in play-action passes, it looks like that we should expect to see some changes in the Texans offense as well with the return of tight end Garrett Graham. Belichick sees the return of Garrett Graham and the use of tight end, Owen Daniels, and full back, James Casey, as Texans opportunity to pull all three of them on the field at once, which is something that did not happen in the first game. Having that in mind, Belichick expects to see different looks as they can use all of them at once or pick one or the other and utilize their strengths.
When referenced about the 2010 game when the Patriots beat the New York Jets, 45-3, in regular season, and the Jets eliminated the Patriots winning 28-21 at Gillette in the playoffs, Belichick said:
“We talked about that many times before, how other games don’t have anything to do with this game. It stands on its own. That is and always will be the case, but it’s an example to point out of how little relevance the previous game with the same team really does have.”
Bottom line – do not expect to hear Belichick’s hints for game day. He is preparing for the game, period. As we all know, Belichick likes to talk vague when he needs or wants to. And here is his favorite phrase:
“We’ll just have to wait and see.”
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