Belichick Conference Call: Steelers Weapons, Linebacker Roles

Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Sports /

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke about the challenges of defending the Steelers offense among other topics during his Tuesday conference call.

In a rare moment of lightheartedness, Belichick kicked off Tuesday’s conference call by announcing a new addition to his family’s roster.

“We can add newborn Blakely Rose to the depth chart. She was born this morning to my son Steve [Belichick] and the real ‘MVP’, Jen, so this is a happy and exciting day for all of us.”

He would then move on to the Pittsburgh Steelers and how his team is preparing for the trip to Heinz field on Sunday.

On Landry Jones and the Steelers playcalling:

“They control the game relative to play-calling and possible audibiling and things like that obviously. But their real job is to get the ball to their playmakers and the Steelers have a lot of them. Whether that’s Ben Roethlisberger or Landry Jones or whoever it is, that’s what those guys do, and so that’s the biggest thing we have to do, is defend the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. The quarterback is part of it but the skill players are a big part of it.”

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  • On Le’Veon Bell’s unique skillset:

    “Well, he’s not only a good runner but a good receiver. He does a great job with the ball in his hands however they get it to him. Tackling will definitely be an issue for us. [He has] good balance, good vision and I’d say he’s a very determined runner. He does a good job of fighting for extra yards, keeping his balance, but just making it difficult, too, to get him down.”

    On the holes he’s had to fill at the linebacker position:

    “Elandon [Roberts] has done a real good job for us there and I think Mingo as we’ve seen him as kind of more of a fourth-down player going back, if you will, and Elandon a little more of a first-down player going forward. So, they’re a lot different players. Their roles are different. Their skills are different but over the course of all four downs they have value from first to fourth, but I think it’s in a little bit of the opposite direction.”

    On his frustration with technology — particularly the Microsoft Surface tablets:

    “As you probably noticed, I’m done with the tablets. I’ve given them as much time as I can give them. They’re just too undependable for me. I’m going to stick with pictures as several of our other coaches do as well because there just isn’t enough consistency in the performance of the tablets, so I just can’t take it anymore.”

    Belichick also said that RB Dion Lewis and G Tre’ Jackson aren’t expected to practice this week, setting back their timetable for a potential return to Week 8 at the earliest.