Here’s what Bill Belichick had to say after the Patriots beat the Eagles

He's been impressed by Cordarrelle Patterson, but he hasn't been surprised.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks to the referees Thursday.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks to the referees Thursday. –Barry Chin / Globe Staff

Bill Belichick isn’t surprised by the way wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has played so far this preseason.

Patterson, who caught two balls for 38 yards against the Redskins and four passes for 51 yards and a touchdown Thursday against the Eagles, has shown his ability as a versatile route-runner. Formerly with the Vikings and Raiders, the first-year Patriot has had an up-and-down career.

He’s shown flashes of brilliance at times and been sparingly used at others, but so far with the Patriots, it’s been much more of the former. Belichick has taken notice, but nothing Patterson’s done has shocked him.


“He’s been productive as a receiver,” Belichick told reporters after Thursday’s 37-20 win. “Obviously we thought he could help us. We traded for him.”

The highlight came early in the third quarter, when Patterson snared a pass near the 12-yard line, juked and made a defender miss, and took it in for a score. On another play, in the first half, he caught a pass from Tom Brady and nearly sprinted his way in for a touchdown, but the referees determined he stepped out of bounds at the 40.

Belichick did acknowledge that there are some elements of Patterson’s game that “need to be refined,” but he said the sixth-year pro has done a solid job acclimating to a new system. He said Patterson is both working hard in practice and making plays in games.

Another player who has stood out is Ja’Whaun Bentley, whom the Patriots drafted in the fifth round this year. After registering six tackles – five solo and two for a loss – and one quarterback hit against Washington, the 21-year-old linebacker proved Thursday that his debut wasn’t a fluke.

Bentley racked up five more tackles, giving him a team-high 11 through two preseason games. He also delivered one of the highlights of the night, when he recovered a fumble in the second quarter and swiftly took it 54 yards to the house.


“He does a good job of handling the communication,” Belichick said. “ … He’s still got a lot to learn. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s handled those things well.”

The general theme from Belichick was that he liked what he saw overall Thursday, but he still believes his team has plenty of room to grow. This was a positive step, after a good week of practice, he said, but he knows there’s a lot to improve on going forward.

When asked about the defense, in particular, he offered a similar message.

“There’s certainly some things we need to work on,” he said. “It was far from perfect.”


Get the latest breaking news sent directly to your phone. Download our free app.