Patriots coach Bill Belichick had strong words of praise for this Sunday's opponent during his weekly appearance on The Big Show on WEEI, especially on defense where former Pats coach Pete Carroll has built a tough, fast team in his two-plus years as head coach.
"They're really good on defense," Belichick said. "They're physical. Red Bryant, [Brandon] Mebane, those guys are really hard to block. Their linebackers are big and they tackle well. You've got to block all of them. They're strong all the way across the board. Pete's really put together a good defensive football team. They're fast, they active, they're hard to run against, they're hard to throw against and they turn the ball over. I'm really impressed watching them."
Belichick also likes what he's seen out of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. "A winner. He makes good decisions. He's very athletic," Belichick said. "They do a great job running the ball and they have a play-action game that goes with it. He can hurt you with his arm and his legs."
As for the win over the Broncos, Belichick was asked about two playcalls that didn't work out as they had hoped. First, the decision to run at the end of the first half, which ultimately resulted in a field goal.
"The ball was inside the 1-yard line. We just unfortunately weren't able to get in," he said. "You can second-guess every call that doesn't work. Sure, great, if that's what you want to do. The ball was inside the 1-yard line, so I don't think running the ball from inside the 1-yard line is necessarily a bad thing to do. It didn't work out. I don't think the way we were running the ball [Sunday] that running the ball from inside the 1-yard line is the worst thing we could have done."
As for the decision to go for it on 4th down in the fourth quarter, Belichick said it had little to do with the Broncos.
"It really didn't have anything to do with Peyton Manning," he said. "It was the field position we were in. It would have been a long field goal or a short punt. I felt like we had a play we could pick that up on. It didn't work out. That isn't what we wanted to happen on the play. Rather than punt it or kick a field goal in that situation I felt going for it was the better decision. But it didn't work out."
Belichick side-stepped a question about Wes Welker's comments after the game about "sticking it to" the coach. Welker on Monday said it was a joke.
"Well, I think Wes played really well yesterday," Belichick said. "Happy that things turned out the way they did. Any conversations that I have with Wes will be between me and Wes."
Asked if he thought his wide receiver had a future as a comedian, Belichick said, "He has a good sense of humor."
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