FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Recapping some of the highlights of Bill Belichick's Monday news conference:
Opening statement; turning the page quickly. Belichick had a quick recap of Sunday's win, repeating some of the same points he made Sunday, while adding the fact it was an AFC East game and that it was nice to get off on the right foot in division play. "Now it's time to turn the page and move on to Denver," he said. "Obviously, they're a real good football team. Quarterback is good, it's an offense we're familiar with, they're good on defense, they're good in all three phases of the game. As good as the Buffalo game was, we just have to get past it here and get on to the Broncos."
Respect for Peyton Manning. Belichick answered a few questions on Peyton Manning, pointing out that the Broncos are running what looks like the Colts' old offense. The Patriots are obviously familiar with that from their rivalry with the Colts over the last decade. As for Manning, Belichick said he "looks good" and it doesn't surprise him that Manning has returned to play at a high level this year. Belichick reflected on watching Manning go through the free-agent process and had interest in how it would unfold. "He's an impact player for whatever team he's on. ... can't say this is the quarterback you really want to face. He's pretty good," Belichick said.
Not revealing information on Hightower. Belichick was asked about the status of rookie linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who left Sunday's win late in the first quarter with a hamstring injury and didn't return. "We'll list him on Wednesday based on what his condition is," Belichick said, as he often does at this time of the week. Asked if he cared to provide a sneak preview, he said, "If I had one, I would. We're not practicing today. We're just in watching film and that kind of thing. We'll see on Wednesday. I'd love to help you out [smiling]."
Thoughts on referees? No thanks. Belichick was also asked his thoughts on the first game with regular officials. "We just really need to focus, as a team, on doing the best we can do," he said. "Whoever else's job it is to do something else, we can't worry about it. We'll just do our job and see if we can do it better."
Tennant wasn't at game. Belichick explained that the signing of center/guard Matt Tennant on Saturday was made for two reasons: 1) They obviously want him on the roster; 2) They were required to be filled to the 53-man limit based on the makeup of the practice squad. "By rule, we had to have 53 players. We had to sign somebody," Belichick said. "He wasn't at the game, so we could have signed him today just as easily as we could have signed him Saturday for all practical purposes. But, by rule, we had to have a 53rd player on the roster. That's why it was done Saturday."