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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 ‘€œgreat’€ and calling Mankins ‘€œone of our best players.’€

‘€œIt’€™s great. I think the world of Logan,’€ Belichick said on a conference call with reporters. ‘€œHe’€™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.

‘€œHe’€™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.

‘€œThere 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. ‘€œCoaching 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.

‘€œThere’€™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.

‘€œI 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. ‘€œIt 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.

‘€œThis 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.

‘€œMark’€™s a versatile player, a real hardworking kid,’€ Belichick said of the former Chicago Bear. ‘€œHe’€™s flashed some good pass rushes through the start of camp. … I think he got off to a good start last night.’€

Read More: 2011 training camp, Bill Belichick, Dane Fletcher, Logan Mankins



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