The Patriots' defense has struggled through the first three weeks of the 2010 season and things won’t be getting much easier against the Dolphins in Week 4.
During his weekly conference call Tuesday, head coach Bill Belichick had nothing but praise for Chad Henne, Brandon Marshall and the rest of the Dolphins' passing game. He knows that his defense, which has given up the fourth-most points in the NFL so far, will certainly have its hands full.
"Marshall's a big guy, strong. He's hard to tackle; he can go up and get the ball. He can really attack you at all three levels — deep, intermediate and short, catch and run type plays. He’s good at all those. He’s an outstanding player," Belichick said.
Jets receiver Braylon Edwards used his size to hurt the Patriots in Week 2, so the 6-foot-4 former Broncos wideout should enjoy a similar advantage.
Marshall has clearly emerged as the Dolphins' main threat as he has more yards and catches than the Dolphins other two wide receivers combined. Despite Marshall’s dominance, Belichick did not overlook the rest of the passing attack.
"They have [Brian] Hartline too, and [Anthony] Fasano. So, they use all those guys,” he said. “They set up each other. It’s not all [Marshall], but he’s definitely a downfield receiver. So is Hartline. They use the tight end there, too. Coach [Dan] Henning does a real good job of mixing things up. All of his offensive skill players — they’re all involved in the game."
Belichick continued to extol the Dolphins, giving Henne plenty of credit at the helm of the Phins’ offense.
"Everything looks to run pretty smoothly and [Henne] operates it well. He makes good decisions and has a good arm, pretty athletic. He can move around a little bit back there in the pocket and he can make all the throws. He’s a good, solid quarterback. He’s done a good job for them," he said.