Before heading onto the field for the Patriots’ last on-field practice before the Colts game, Bill Belichick hit on a couple of topics related to Indianapolis. New England will practice on the upper grass fields today, not the usual Friday in-stadium practice, because of an event at Gillette today.
On the rookie defensive players facing Peyton Manning:
Like a lot of things with those players, you can talk about them…you can talk about a lot of those things but like a lot of us, you learn through experience. See the pace of game, how quickly (Manning) releases the ball…(last week) we talked about Roethlisberger, how big he is, how hard he is to take down…but until you’ve actually experienced it, you’re not sure.
On using distinctly different game plans in the first and second half vs. Manning:
Sure, you can do that. You can have an element of that. It’s hard to cut the pie in half, but in the first half can do a little more of this, second half do a little more of that…but you can do that, change the emphasis.
On the difficulty of substituting defensive players against Indy’s fast-paced no-huddle:
Absolutely that’s one of the real challenges of playing the Colts. You don’t know who they’re going to have on the field but whoever you have on the field, you might have to live with them for 15 plays or however long it takes (before you can change). That’s definitely a challenge and that comes up in the red zone a lot of the time.