FOXBOROUGH — The 33-14 loss to the Ravens in a Jan. 10 playoff game at Gillette Stadium still fresh in everyone’s minds, Patriots coach Bill Belichick seemed to set the tone for the week of preparations for Sunday’s game against Baltimore today, saying, “We’re just going to have to do a lot better job than we did in last year’s playoff game to be competitive.”
Here’s an excerpt of some of the remarks Belichick made in today’s news conference.
On the Ravens: “They’re really strong in every area. They’re good on defense. They’re good on offense. They’re good in the kicking game. They cause you a lot of problems because they execute really well. They make you earn everything.”’
On the skill set of Ravens NT Haloti Ngata: “He’s big and strong and explosive, but he’s also a good football player. He’s got a good technique in the running game and the passing game and they use him across the board against the guard, center and tackle and he can play pretty much any place and play pretty well. I’m sure Ray Lewis is glad to have him in front of him. It’s hard to block a guy like that on the line of scrimmage and then to have to get another guy like Lewis behind him.”
On the difference the additions of Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh have made to the Ravens’ offense: “They got more weapons and they’re more balanced. All those guys have contributed for them. They’re solid across the board. They got a lot of guys they use in different formations and all their skill players have been productive for them. [Joe] Flacco has spread the ball around, and they give you a lot to defend. They’ve got a good scheme and they’re well-coached.”
On the loss of S Ed Reed to the Ravens’ defense: “The thing that stands out about them is their team defense. I don’t think it’s isolated to just one guy. They have a lot of great players, players who could play on anyone else’s team. They’re well-coordinated, they complement each other well, there’s good communication there. They don’t make many mistakes and they make you work for everything you get. Any team that plays good team defense, it’s the entire unit. It’s not just one guy or one particular thing, even as outstanding as any one of them might be. Ed Reed’s Ed Reed. [Tom] Zbikowski [Reed’s replacement] is a good football player and he’s tough and he’s very physical. They’re both tough, physical guys who tackle well.”