1) Belichick was asked about the variance in the offense — An obvious reference to the team and its quarterback becoming a little less dependent on Randy Moss and Wes Welker, and the addition of weapons like the rookie tight ends. “If you have confidence in certain receivers being open, sometimes you tend to give them a little longer look or maybe you stay with them a little bit longer because, all other things being equal, if you have a choice of going here or going there, you go to maybe the [one you have the] most confidence in,” he said. “That comes up a lot in the passing game where you have not just one guy to throw to, but if they play a certain coverage you can go to A or B or if they play a different coverage you could go to B or C, however you have it set up. I think Tom always tries to do the right thing and do what’s best.” Welker and Moss have been targeted 45 times, or 46 percent of Brady’s 98 attempts.
2) The coach was asked about the elements being a factor — though the high is expected to be “only” 84 on Monday. “It’s like if you’re a Florida team and you come to play in New England in December,” Belichick said. ‘I think you just have to make that adjustment. That’s part of your game adjustments. We’ve had trouble with them here; we’ve had trouble with them down there. They’re a good football team. They give you problems wherever you play them.” I can tell you that, organizationally, the Dolphins see their conditioning in the humidity — following brutal training camp conditions — to be a distinct early-season advantage.
3) The loser of this game will fall to 1-2 in the division, with both teams having lost to the Jets. And that would put the pressure on in late-season showdowns against the other East heavyweights. “There are no bigger games than division games, and division games on the road are huge,” Belichick said. “I know it’s only the fourth game of the season, but these are the kind of games that at the end of the year have a big impact on the division standings [with] tiebreakers and all of that. We all know that. We don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but we know that they’re important games. I don’t think we really do anything different other than we know it’s a big division game. All division games are big.”
4) Finally, this being a “Parcells Family Tree” game (Belichick was a Tuna assistant for both New York teams and the Patriots, Tony Sparano worked for Big Bill in Dallas), the respect runs high between these staffs. “(Offensive coordinator Dan Henning) is an excellent coach,” Belichick said. “I think he had a real good understanding of not only the offense of football, but how that ties into the other two phases of the game. It’s a new defensive staff down there this year (with) Mike Nolan. But we’ve known Mike through the years back from when … He’s been with several different teams. I have a lot of respect for Mike and I think Mike does a really good job too, both in-game, preparation, scheme, you name it. I think they have a really good coaching staff. And obviously Tony (Spar
ano) does a good job. He’s got a really good record down there. They’re solid every week.”