Bill Belichick's team is doing its final practices before preseason game No. 2, Thursday in Tampa Bay. He called the Buccaneers an "impressive" team in their game against the Chiefs - "fast, aggressive, they have a lot of talented players, play at a high tempo."
Here's more from the Patriots coach:
- On how the players have responded to what Belichick said on Saturday would be a big week: "I think we've improved. They've had a good attitude. We've pushed them pretty hard in the practices and drills...we've had a lot of guys fighting through bumps and bruises staying out there on the field."
- On whether Andre Carter is as adept against the run as he is against the pass: "I would say so. I would say handling the run is a skill of his. He's a pretty talented player - seventh pick in the (2001) draft; you don't into thst spot. He runs hard, he's a good athlete, smart guy. He has a lot goung for him. There's quite a few positives there."
- Conversely, Belichick wasn't as complimentary when asked to assess Sergio Brown's training camp thus far: "I'm not going to get into an analysis of every player...We're almost three weeks into camp; everyone that's been out there in improving. He's worked hard, he's in good condition."
- Whether the Pats have done any preparation for the Tampa Bay game: "Sure. We don't tell the team we're going to just roll the balls out...how could you evsluate them? That's part of the evaluation - they' going to play a lot of people and we're going to play a lot of people, that's part of preseason. Does that mean we're going to win the game at all costs and run a secret play? That's not really the point, but you have to give them" some information so they know what to expect.
- Belichick fielded a lot of questions about kickoffs, from whether a kicker who can "hang" the ball is an advantage under the new rules to whether the new rule and the potentially reduced number of kickoffs will influence roster decisions. After the third one, he quipped, "really digging here at end of camp?...I can talk kickoffs all day - that was my life for 10 years."