Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call, on Monday, January 10, 2011.
BB: We've seen all the games since we played them. Of course we have a lot of information on the Jets from the December game. We're just trying to put it all together, sort it out and be ready for tomorrow when the players come in and get off to a good start at the beginning of the week and be ready to go Sunday afternoon. [It was] a great win on the road for the Jets against Indianapolis. We all know how tough that is. I'm sure they'll be coming in with a lot of confidence on Sunday, which they should. They've got a good team. Hopefully we'll be ready to go and be able to beat them.
Q: Rex Ryan said this morning that in his eyes, it's Rex Ryan vs. Bill Belichick. That's how you think of things, too, right?
BB: We'll, I might have a little quickness on him. He's probably got a little more strength and power on me. So, I don't think you'll see either one of us out there making any blocks or tackles or runs or throws or catches. At least you won't see me doing it. It's probably a good thing for our team.
Q: Can you talk about how a nose tackle like Vince Wilfork helps Jerod Mayo lead the league in tackles? You joked at one point that a nose tackle can be a middle linebacker's best friend.
BB: Absolutely. It's always hard when you have a guy on the line of scrimmage that's tough to block. It makes it really tough to get up and get the linebacker behind him. The quicker you leave the defensive lineman to get the linebacker then the harder it is on whoever's blocking him to be able to keep him out of the play so that the runner can get up to the second level. The longer you stay on that defensive lineman - and that's usually who the first priority is, to get the guy that's on the line of scrimmage - then the more it frees up the linebacker. Probably the best example of that was - and there's a lot of good ones - but definitely a good example of that was back in the 70s with 'Mean Joe' Greene and Jack Lambert, and of course [Ernie] Holmes, too, for that matter, but with Greene, they played that tilted nose and it was really hard for even the guard or the center to really block Greene and if you put both guys on him, then you left Lambert free behind the line and it was a tough situation. A nose tackle is an inside linebacker's best friend.
Q: How did Brandon Spikes look coming back in the few days of practice you had last week?
BB: Well, it looked like he hadn't practiced in four weeks with the team, so he's got a ways to go.
Q: Is that something he can make up in a week or will you bring him along slowly?
BB: Well, we'll see. We'll see. Hopefully he'll be better this week than he was last week. He should be with the extra days of practice and just getting back into it, but we'll see how it goes.
Q: The Jets ran the ball like crazy Saturday, especially late in the game. What do you see from their power running game?
BB: I think they have an excellent running game. They have a good offensive line. They've got two backs that complement each other well that are both good backs, but have different running styles. They do a real good job. It all starts with [Nick] Mangold on the line. He's as good a center as we've faced and he's outstanding. Wherever the play's designed to go - off tackle or draw plays or things like that - it seems like there's always a second point of attack, second entry point, wherever his block is. So, he does a great job, but their offensive line [and] their backs, they're well coached. They have good schemes. They use their tight ends well, both [Ben] Hartsock and [Dustin] Keller in the running game or when they go to a running game and use [Wayne] Hunter or put [Robert] Turner out there, which they do some of that - use those guys as tight ends. That gives them some other blocking combinations. So, they do a good job of those things.
Q: What has allowed you to move Vince Wilfork around? It seems like you are able to put him opposite the strength of the offensive line.
BB: Well, I think as we talked about, Vince is really a versatile player. His first year in the league he played defensive end during the season and in the postseason. Really, from the time he's gotten here, he's shown that he can play anywhere from the outside shoulder on the tackle to all the way down to the zero technique on the nose and those spots in between. So, he gives us a lot of versatility there: his ability to handle blockers, read blocking schemes, play multiple responsibilities. It gives our defense a lot of flexibility. He's very smart, instinctive, reads well, and also, he's a good technique player. All those things work toward that end.
Q: Rex Ryan has a different way of dealing with the media and firing up his team. How do you respond to that? Do you mind it at all?
BB: I just try to coach my team. I'm not really worried about how everybody else coaches theirs. Everybody's got their own style and a lot of coaches do a great job. Rex does a great job with his team. I'm just trying to coach mine. I'm not really worried about what anybody else is doing. Is that the answer you're looking for?
Q: No, I'm looking for something a little more exclamatory, but we can wait and probably do that on Wednesday.