No update from Belichick on Koppen
FOXBOROUGH -- Bits from Bill Belichick's follow-up press conference Monday at Gillette Stadium:
Dan Koppen's knee injury: Belichick did not provide an update on center Dan Koppen, who injured his knee in the second quarter and did not return. He said the next update would come Wednesday after practice when the team must submit its first participation report (4 p.m.). "He's a pretty fast healer," Belichick said, perhaps hinting that Koppen dodged a bullet. "Hopefully he'll be back out there soon."
Laurence Maroney consistently running hard: Asked if he's seen improvement from Maroney (82 yards, 20 carries, 4.1 avg., 1 TD), Belichick said that Maroney has been consistent from the start of the year. "The bottom line, I think Laurence has run the ball pretty well all year," he said. "When he's had space, he's been able to make yards. When he hasn't, he's run hard and kind of gotten what's there. He's taking care of the ball pretty well."
Wilfork at defensive end: The selflessness of nose tackle Vince Wilfork was noted, as Wilfork had switched from nose tackle to defensive end to match up against the Dolphins' best lineman, left tackle Jake Long. "He's the type of player who will do whatever he can to help the team," Belichick said, noting that Wilfork controls the front, making line calls. Belichick called Wilfork a smart player with good instincts, pointing out a play in which the Dolphins tried to trap him on a Wildcat counter, which the Patriots hadn't practiced. But Wilfork made the play anyway.
Extra points: Belichick pointed out all the defensive changes the Dolphins made, changing personnel regularly and sometimes walking different players up to the line, and seemed pleased with the overall pass protection. ... Belichick noted how all three AFC East games have come down to the wire for the Patriots this season. ... Belichick liked how the kickoff coverage and pass protection responded. ... Concerns remain in the red zone, which Belichick called "an area we need to keep working on".