Monday, September 3, 2012
Belichick: Time to talk Tennessee
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In the moments following the Patriots' preseason finale against the Giants on Wednesday, Bill Belichick was asked if it was too early to turn the page to the Titans, the team's season-opening opponent.
Belichick, in the spirit of Ed Hochuli, called a false start.
Yes, that was too early. Before attention could turn to the Titans, the Patriots had an internal focus for a few days, getting their 53-man roster solidified.
Explosive Titans running back Chris Johnson will be the fastest player on the field Sunday.
With that mission now accomplished, Belichick arrived at the interview podium Monday and said it was time to talk Titans.
"Today is really our first big full day on Tennessee, kind of like a normal Wednesday would be for us," he explained. "We'll try to catch up on all three phases of the game here. Tennessee is a well-balanced team. Very good. Well coached. They have a lot of young players on their team, but they also have a good sprinkling of veteran players that are very good [and] consistent. They do a lot of things well in all three areas, and we know it will be a great atmosphere down there, a lot of intensity down there, against a good football team. We'll start getting ready for it here, with things like the noise, to try to prepare our team the best we can for what we'll see on Sunday."
A few Titans notes from Belichick:
Titans CB Jason McCourty looks a lot like Patriots CB Devin McCourty. "Definitely some similarities, as you'd expect. They're both fast. They're both aggressive. Good tacklers. Good solid players. We'll never get a better look at a guy than we will this week with Devin. That's as close as it gets [chuckling]."
QB Jake Locker and his athleticism. "We did work on him coming out [of the draft in 2011], and I think he's pretty much the same player that we expected to see -- athletic, good arm, smart guy. He can certainly get the ball down the field and he's a hard guy to tackle. He's elusive."
LT Michael Roos and RT David Stewart worthy of attention. "They've played together for seven years. They came in the same year. Stewart didn't play too much too much his rookie year, but by his second year he was in the lineup. Of course, Roos has started every game at left tackle for them for  years. That's a great situation for a team to have two tackles come in and be that consistent. Roos is a big, athletic left tackle [6-foot-7, 320 pounds] who got some All-Pro/Pro Bowl type recognition through the years, as he should. Stewart [6-foot-7, 315 pounds] is a big physical right tackle who is kind of a classic right tackle. Those two guys are similar to the profile you would expect from those two positions, and they've done a good job for them."
Tough to replicate Johnson's speed. "Chris Johnson has tremendous speed. They have good backs all the way through, but Johnson's speed is unique. It's hard to replicate that. We need to do that, so when we see it in the game we're not surprised by it."
Pressure the Titans have generated along the d-line. "Certainly [Kamerion] Wimbley is an experienced guy and he gives them a good edge presence. They have a young defensive line and they get a lot of pressure from everywhere, really. [Karl] Klug gave them a lot of pressure inside last year [7 sacks]. They have good edge rushers. They have good inside rushers. They're athletic. They're quick. They don't stay blocked very long, whether it's the run or the pass. It's a very active defensive line. They have good depth. They roll those guys through. They play a couple groups in there, so whoever is active I'm sure we'll see most of them."