Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Leftovers from Belichick
By Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Offering up some extra points from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's Wednesday news conference:
Others deserving of Pro Bowl nod. Belichick congratulated the eight selections the team had for the Pro Bowl, but noted there were others deserving as well. "Always happy for the guys who made it. There's always other guys who probably were worthy of it," Belichick said. "But that's the way it goes, we don't have a lot of control over it."
Mankins and knee braces. Belichick was asked if guard Logan Mankins' knee brace prevented a more serious knee injury on Saturday, and whether the team mandates that players wear braces. "I'm sure the knee brace prevented it from being a more serious injury," Belichick acknowledged. He explained that the team's policies on equipment are in part mandated by the league, but not in all cases. He did not elaborate on any specific team policies regarding braces.
Role of Polite & fullback in offense. Belichick said that newly-signed fullback Lousaka Polite's role is yet to be determined, but that Polite has played both fullback and special teams in his career. When asked on the benefit of having a "true" fullback, Belichick had a detailed response: "If you have a player in the backfield, it really gives you the ability to put an extra blocker on either side of the center. He can go either way and block to either side of the center. If you have a guy on the line of scrimmage, then it obviously declares to which side he's on -- not that he couldn't cross back -- but it declares which side he's on, but it prevents the defense from being able to penetrate. There's one more gap on the line of scrimmage that they have to account for. It makes it a little harder to penetrate off the edge. It [also] gives you a quicker receiver in the passing game, and a quicker blocker to the end of the line of scrimmage. Whereas when you're in the backfield, you have more options as to which way you're going to send him, and who you're going to block [with] him."
One game at a time. An out-of-town reporter asked Belichick, given his team's "one game at a time approach," how he would react if running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis were to talk about rushing for 125 yards in a playoff game in this week's practice. "Having just talked to Bennie yesterday, I'd be really surprised if he said that," Belichick said with a smile.
No clues on resting starters Sunday. When asked if he would take advantage of a chance to rest his starters on Sunday against Buffalo, Belichick responded "We’re preparing for this game like we’ve prepared for the last 15."