|Bill Belichick, Patriots anticipate more no-huddle from Ravens||09.18.12 at 6:45 pm ET|
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday there are some big changes between the Ravens team they beat in the AFC title game eight months ago and the one they’ll face this Sunday night in Baltimore.
“They run a lot more no-huddle offense. That looks like a big part of their package,” Belichick said on a Tuesday afternoon conference call with reporters. “There are some different players in there for one reason or another. Some of the matchups will be a little bit different; of course that’s true of us too.
“Some of their younger players have started to really mature and become very good players, guys that are really getting into the prime of their career, like [Dennis] Pitta or [Ed] Dickson, Lardarius Webb, guys like that, [Pernell] McPhee. They’ve added some young guys that have shown up in the kicking game, like [Corey] Graham, [Christian] Thompson, obviously [Courtney] Upshaw, who’s shown up on defense too. They’re the same but they’re different.
“Of course, Dean [Pees] is the coordinator. He has a couple different wrinkles from what we saw last year as well. I wouldn’t say they’re major but I would say they’re definitely significant; put a little different twist to it for us.”
Defensively, some of those wrinkles could be familiar, as Pees held the same title with the Patriots from 2006 through 2009. (He was also New England’s linebackers coach in 2004 and 2005.)
“I don’t think we’re seeing anything revolutionary; things that are a little different from some of the things they did last year or things they’re doing more of this year — wrinkles in their dime package and things like that,’ Belichick said of the Baltimore defense.
“It’s not anything that we’ve never seen before, like I said, some of the percentages of it or the emphasis on it, those things change from year to year. Even if the coordinator didn’t change, some of those things would change anyway.”
Here are some other highlights from Belichick’s Q&A Tuesday afternoon:
You talked about Baltimore doing some up-tempo stuff but it also seems like they can push the field vertically whether it’s Torrey Smith or Jacoby Jones and Joe Flacco doesn’t seem to have any problem driving the ball down the field. Is that something that you’ve seen and you see as a challenge leading into the week?
“Definitely, and that’s something that we saw last year as well. And their tight ends too – don’t forget about [Ed] Dickson and [Dennis] Pitta. Those guys are very good down the field, along with their receivers, [Anquan] Boldin and they have guys like Ray Rice that they can hand the ball off to or throw it to out of the backfield on screens or whatever routes he’s on. We all know he can take it the distance too. They’re a very explosive group all the way around. They can throw it, they run after the catch, they can hand it off to one of the top backs in football. Ray Rice is a very special player and he can score from anywhere on the field on any play – on a pass, cutback play, outside play, inside play, it doesn’t matter what it is, he can hit the home run on you. This is a very explosive group, no question.”
When you sign a player during the week, what’s been your experience with how much you can rely on a player to put him right in a game that week?
“It would definitely depend on the player. When I was in Cleveland, we signed Mike Tomczak and started him at quarterback that week after our other two quarterbacks got injured.”
How did that go?
“Mike did a good job. He came in and worked hard, learned a lot through the week and actually played pretty competitively and I thought he had a pretty decent year for us that year. Obviously it’s not an ideal situation but we did that last year too. We brought guys in, played them in the nickel or started them; played them for 30 or 40 plays in the game. [We] signed guys and didn’t play them at all. It depends on all the circumstances that surround the player, the game, the situation and so forth. I don’t think there’s any real book on that.”
What did you see on the false start on the field goal attempt? Did he clutch there or can you re-adjust the ball?
“I guess you really should talk to the officials about that or talk to the league office, since they’re the only ones that can comment on that. The explanation that was given to me, which I don’t really know, this is just what I was told, that one official on the side said that he had an offside call and then when they went in a conferenced it, the other official said that the ball moved and that’s what caused the offside. That was the explanation that I was given but I would say that if you have any questions about the officiating or the call or anything, you should talk to the league office and have them explain it.”
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