Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Monday to discuss Monday’s win over the Bills and also to look ahead to Sunday’s game in Denver against the Broncos. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Even coach Gary Kubiak announced Brock Osweiler would start the game in favor of Peyton Manning, Belichick said he is still going to prepare for Manning.
“Again, it’s a short week, but we will have to prepare for everybody. We will certainly prepare for Osweiler based on the way he performed last week and I would say kind of the trend that they are going to. At the same time, that could all change on the first play of the game anyway, whether we want it, they want it, anybody wants it. That is pro football. We have to be prepared for all the players that can play in the game. All the ones that are healthy.
“If somebody is ruled out at the end of the week then we will start to put them in the background, but until that happens really the day before game, we’re pretty much preparing for everybody and certainly Peyton Manning is a player I would never underestimate under any circumstances. If he plays, I’m sure he’ll play at the highest level he possibly can. We’ve seen historically what that has been. If he doesn’t, whoever else does, we’ll expect their best too.”
Belichick was also asked about the inadvertent whistle play from Monday night. He understands mistakes happen even with the referees.
“Yeah, sure. Inadvertent whistles, that happens,” he said.
“Look, that’s going to happen,” Belichick added. “Sometimes the whistle is going to blow and they probably, maybe anticipated Tom was going to run out of bounds and he blew it. Whatever happened, I don’t know, but that is the rule. It was an inadvertent whistle and there’s a procedure to handle that and I think the officials followed that based on what happened on the play.”
Jerod Mayo has seen increased playing time as the season has moved on, which Belichick pointed to as him still working his way back from a torn patella tendon suffered in Week 6 last season.
“Nobody has worked harder than Jerod has,” Belichick said. “Jerod has put in countless hours in the training room and in the weight room, on the practice field doing extra. In addition to all the other things everyone else does, doing extra things to come back from the injury he had last year in Buffalo. He’s worked very hard and those things don’t happen overnight. The combination of training, practice execution, confidence, reps, so forth, I think there’s been gradual improvement over the course of time. Again, Jerod has worked as hard as you could work coming back from that. I saw another guy with a similar injury and he hasn’t played at all this year. I am not trying to compare, but there’s no way you could question Jerod’s work ethic or commitment.
“I’m happy for him, very happy for him that it is headed in the right direction, he’s physically improving, that he’s playing, his level is improving and he’s getting an opportunity because he certainly deserves that. He really does a good job for our football team in a lot of ways. He’s been the practice player of the week multiple times. He helps the team be a better team whether he’s on the field, not on the field, or if it is in the classroom, the weight room, the meeting room, whatever it is. All those things have really been good for us and I think he is continuing to really improve on a weekly basis in small increments. It’s a lot of hard work to get those last probably couple percentage points back, but it’s coming.”
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