By Michael Whitmer
Patriots players enjoyed a rare second straight off day, the reward for a fourth straight AFC East title coupled with an extra day to prepare for the Houston Texans, who come to Gillette Stadium for a game Monday night.
Coach Bill Belichick participated in a teleconference Tuesday, and was asked about, among other topics, the Texans, paying attention to the rest of the AFC race as teams jockey for seeds and playoff spots, and receiver Donte Stallworth, who reportedly has been signed by the Patriots, although the team has not announced it.
Belichick on ...
The Texans: "They’ve been very impressive all the way around. Obviously they have a great record, playing well offensively, defensively, and in the kicking game. They’re a very consistent team but also a very explosive team. They can make a big play on any play – strip sacks, batted balls, long runs, long passes, returns. This is a game where everybody is really going to have to do a good job on every play. Nothing’s safe with these guys. They really make you earn everything. You have to tackle them, you have to block them, you have to get open; they don’t give much away. You have to really work hard for everything you get. That will be a big challenge for us this week."
Following the AFC race: "We can’t do anything about anybody else. All we can do anything about is the New England Patriots. So, we try to just concentrate on what we have to do and it will all get sorted out in the end. We still have a quarter of the season left to play. We have a lot of football left, we have to keep working on the things we need to work on and not worry anybody else."
Stallworth, who could provide depth if Julian Edelman (foot injury) can't play: "There’s no announcement that’s been made, so I don’t really have any comment on that."