Q: Who would you compare Matt Forte to in terms of drawing up a game plan against him because of the way he can beat you as a pass catcher as well as a rusher? **
MP: Obviously, [he's] a huge part of their offense in both the run and passing game. We have to do a great job to stop him in the run game first and foremost. He does an excellent job of burst and explosion through the line of scrimmage. He has incredibly quick feet and some good quickness to get to the edge and has edge ability. Really a struggle across the board in the run as far as being able to attack you inside and outside or plays that are designed to go inside that then bounce outside. So, certainly an issue as far as the run game is concerned first and foremost and then obviously in the passing game. Really does a great job of getting into his routes, getting away from defenders, working off of leverage and being a really good utility tool for the quarterback to get the ball to in tight situations. Certainly they've also extended him out a little bit and put him in different positions where they can now feature him and give him the ball out in space. Just a quality, quality player for them in their offense that they utilize in both the run and pass game. Like I said, try to get the matchups that they look for in the pass game to take advantage of the look.
Q: Looking back over the last decade since you've been here, the Patriots have always been off the charts in their ability to win close games. Can you talk a little bit about Coach Bill Belichick and what he instills in both the staff and players in terms of being ready to win these close games and how you think a team can consistently do that over such a long span?
MP: I think, obviously, each game is individually different. We try to do a good job of putting the emphasis on enough situations that might come up and really to give the players the tools and the ability to make good decisions in those situations. It's one of the things – I think all of the teams in the league work on. And certainly we try to do a good job of working on that also as far as understanding the different situations of a football game that can come up, whether it's the end of the game or the beginning of the game or before the half, whatever the particular situation is that presents itself and to give the players the tools to go out and execute and recognize and understand the situations that present themselves. I think it's something that's just part of the game. Something Coach Belichick does a great job of teaching on a daily basis to the team when those situations arise and certainly something that we have to keep up on and keep working at.
Q: Vince Wilfork has played a large percentage of the defensive snaps so far this season. How do you as a staff balance an immediate need versus the long-term look and how a player may feel for December and January when you get into that part of the season? How do you strike a balance there between what you need do and what you might need later on down the road?
MP: The first thing is, obviously, Vince is a tremendous leader for us. He does a great job every day with his approach to the game both through practice, through meetings and then obviously on game day. He's a tremendous leader that our players can look up to, just really a hard-working individual that brings his lunch pail to work every day as far as getting in there and grinding it out and really trying to understand what our opponents are doing. Obviously, we look to him in that capacity from a very strong leadership aspect and I think for anything that we do on defense here as a team, we're just trying to put the best players out there in the best position possible to win the game. It's really all about that particular game that week and obviously turning it around to Chicago is going to be another important week for us to be able to put our best players out on the field and put them in the best position possible to win the game. Certainly with the different offensive weapons and dynamic ability that Chicago has, we have to do a great job of getting that offense stopped.
Q: The Jets traded for Percy Harvin on Friday. I'm curious if you have any impressions of how much more difficult they might be to defend in a couple months.
MP: My focus is fully on the Chicago Bears right now. We have a huge challenge ahead of us this weekend. Coach [Marc] Trestman has done a great job with the offensive personnel out there. Certainly with [Brandon] Marshall and [Josh] Morgan and [Alshon] Jeffery, I have my hands full, and [Santonio] Holmes, I have my hands full with the wide receiver for the Bears. [Martellus] Bennett and [Dante] Rosario in that category along with the production that Forte has had, I'm totally focused right there.