Bill Belichick talks about performance vs. Jags, Logan Mankins’ new deal, Dane Fletcher and Mark Anderson
|08.12.11 at 5:03 pm ET|
On Friday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the new contract for Pro Bowl offensive lineman Logan Mankins, saying it was “great” and calling Mankins “one of our best players.”
“It’s great. I think the world of Logan,” Belichick said on a conference call with reporters. “He’s done a great job for us here since he’s come to the Patriots. I’m glad that he’ll be here for many years in the future. He’s one of our best players, one of our most consistent players. He’s been durable, has a great work ethic, he’s really smart. He plays hard. He plays tough. There are almost no negatives with Logan.
“He’s an outstanding person. He’s an outstanding player. He does things the way that we would like our team to do them, so he’s a great example for all of us to look at, because he plays hard, he’s unselfish, he’s tough, he puts the team first. He’s a winner. I’m glad we have him on our team.”
On the call, Belichick also addressed several other points, including Thursday’s preseason win over Jacksonville.
“There were definitely some encouraging things and some things that I thought we did well. There of course were plenty of mistakes and a lot of things we need to get corrected,” Belichick said after watching film on the 47-12 win over the Jaguars. “Coaching wise, we still have a long way to go there too in terms of all of our communication and adjustments and just kind of get back in game mode, which we haven’t done in a while.
“There’s a lot of work for all of us to do, but I feel like the players went out and played hard and gave a solid effort.”
He also touched on the play of Dane Fletcher, who finished with a team-high five tackles against Jacksonville.
“I think Dane’s made a big jump from his first year to his second year, similar to some of our other first year players,” Belichick said of Fletcher, who started at middle linebacker in Thursday’s preseason opener. “It looks like Dane’s had a very good offseason. He looks good physically. He’s certainly a lot more confident and is reacting quicker and anticipating things better than he did at this time last year. Although, he made a lot of gains over the course of the season, by the end of the year he was doing a real good job for us.
“This year he started from a much higher level. I don’t know how much quickness and strength he’s gained. It might be a little bit because he has worked hard and is in good condition, but I’d say more than that it’s probably his reaction and being able to recognize things quicker and anticipate them.”
In addition, newcomer Mark Anderson was on the field with the defense for a large portion of the night, starting as a pass-rushing defensive end and then playing more against the run as the night went on.
“Mark’s a versatile player, a real hardworking kid,” Belichick said of the former Chicago Bear. “He’s flashed some good pass rushes through the start of camp. … I think he got off to a good start last night.”
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