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Pats' staff talk bye week, Pittsburgh prep

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  October 24, 2011 12:41 PM

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Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio and Bill O'Brien were just made available via conference call; Patriots coaches were given a couple of days off but were due back to work today. Players must return to the facility tomorrow.

Here are some quotes from the call:

BILL BELICHICK

On the performance of specialists Stephen Gostkowski and Zoltan Mesko to this point:

Overall they’ve done a pretty solid job. Zoltan showed a lot of toughness mentally and physically after getting banged up there [when he suffered a knee injury against San Diego]…he's done a good job with holding. He's definitely developing into solid player, has better understanding of (what we’re trying to do). Stephen, we paced him through training camp, he has had good solid start too. There’s a way to go for both of those guys, but they’ve gotten off to a pretty good start.

On Jerod Mayo's potential return from knee injury:

Jerod’s definitely getting better; he works hard as he always does. He got a few days away from here, so he had a few days of healing and treatment…It will be great to have him out there, whenever that happens.

On Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace:

He's a big play receiver, really fast, he’s improved a lot from when we played them last year - his patience, route technique, he has great speed but is getting better at route technique, setting up routes, using his speed, changing his pace…He does nice job of going up and getting the ball. I would say he's improved his route-running in the red area, where there’s less space. …He can take a short pass and turn it into the long run. He's done a good job, worked hard, has a good quarterback and other good receivers to compliment him.

BILL O'BRIEN

On how he spent time off during the bye:

Definitely Bill (Belichick) did a really good job of giving us a few days off as a staff, and that’s always good, I always describe it as being an Army job for my wife, six months on, six months off; it was good to get back and help her and then get back to work today.

On the Patriots' offense to this point:

We definitely did a lot of self-scouting, looking at different situations...some of the things that we've been doing well [we want to continue to do] and we'll try to improve on things we haven’t been doing so well…

You know, I just think situationally we’ve done OK and on third down, [one of the] places we can improve is like third down in red area….we’ll continue to do the things we’re doing well and improve on the things we’re not doing so well.

On what Kevin Faulk would add to the Patriots' offense

He would just add to what that group already has – intelligence, experience, knowledge of the system. That’s the things that Kevin has added to us over the years, he would just add to very talented group of guys and smart group of guys.

NICK CASERIO

On Terrell Owens, who will hold a workout for NFL teams this week as he looks to sign with a team after rehabbing from knee injuries and whether New England would have any interest in him:

He's no different than a lot of other players that have been on the street [we'll do our due diligence]...He’s no different than any other players that are out there currently.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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