Quick hits from Bill Belichick’s Monday news conference:
Opening statement – credit to the players. Belichick opened by praising the players for playing “physically for 60 minutes.” Belichick liked the offensive output (27 points), no turnovers, and called it a “solid day” on defense. He also pointed out how the Patriots had good field position throughout and that there weren’t a lot of penalties (3). Belichick also liked how players adjusted to some new things the Titans threw at them. Yet it wasn’t all praise; as he often does, Belichick noted there were plays the team left out on the field that need to be improved.
Follow-up on Ridley’s performance. Belichick thought there were some good running plays to the outside, off tackle. And he said Stevan Ridley did a nice job at times gaining extra yards after contact, while other times making secondary players miss at the line of scrimmage. While those were the positives, Belichick added that there were plays on which Ridley left yards on the field.
Cannon’s performance on the line. Belichick was asked about second-year offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, who split time at right tackle with Sebastian Vollmer (link here). Belichick took the opportunity to speak about the overall offensive line, saying, “I thought, overall, our offensive line did a decent job. I thought it held up OK. Marcus and Sebastian split those reps at tackle pretty evenly. They were both OK. Again, a couple things could have been better, but overall, it wasn’t a big problem area or anything.” As for Cannon playing right guard at the end of the game, Belichick said, “The more things a player can play, the better it is. We had an opportunity at the end of the game to get a few snaps for some of our younger guys that were in there – Lex [Hilliard] was in there, Mike [Hoomanawanui] was in there, Marcus at guard. It was no big strategy thing or anything.”
Conditioning holds up. Belichick said “both teams probably caught a break” with the cool temperatures. In terms of the Patriots’ conditioning, Belichick said, “I thought overall, we were OK. We had some no-huddle sequences and seemed to be all right. Of course, at the half, Tennessee was in a two-minute mode … we got a little bit of that up-tempo on both sides of the ball. It tested us a little bit and it seemed like we held up OK. We didn’t seem to have a lot of guys on the sideline that were passed out under the oxygen tent or anything like that. It was good.”