FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots currently are pegged as 22 1/2-point favorites for this Sunday’s matchup with the New York Jets, with some oddsmakers listing the line as high as 24 points.
You’d never know that listening to Bill Belichick on Wednesday.
Continuing his time-honored tradition of hyping up overmatched AFC East opponents, Belichick opened his first news conference of Jets week with a 3 1/2-minute salute to Adam Gase’s club, which lost 23-3 to the Cleveland Browns on Monday to fall to 0-2 on the season and will be trotting out third-string quarterback Luke Falk against New England’s vaunted defense.
Here’s a full breakdown of Belichick’s compliments:
On Gase, who’s in his first season with the Jets after three with the Miami Dolphins: “First of all, just with Adam, I think he does a terrific job. Certainly, we’ve had a ton of problems playing against him in the past. He’s a very good football coach. Does an excellent job with the team, certainly offensively, of creating problems for all defenses, especially ours. That’ll be a big challenge for us, just handling the strategic aspect of the game, the matchups that he creates.”
On Falk, who will be making his first NFL start with Sam Darnold out with mononucleosis and Trevor Siemian on injured reserve: “Well, I think nobody knows the quarterback situation better than Coach Gase does. He feels like Falk has more experience in the system, which he does, than any other player that they have. He was with him last year (in Miami), he went through all of the game plans, went through all of the adjustments, had a whole year of it in Miami. Darnold didn’t do that; Siemian didn’t do that. I think that Coach Gase has expressed the confidence that he has in his quarterback, and I believe him. I don’t think he would’ve brought him (to New York) and he would’ve put him in there if he didn’t have that. I don’t expect the offense to change.”
On defensive coordinator Gregg Williams: “Coach Williams does a great job. They’re very aggressive on defense, they cause a lot of negative plays. They had the four turnovers against Buffalo (in Week 1). They do a good job of mixing it up and making the offense, I’d say, uncomfortable with dealing with the different schemes that they utilize. They keep it simple, but they’re very aggressive and they create a lot of problems with a fairly — I wouldn’t say it’s a complex system, but it causes a lot of problems. It has a good amount of balance and complementary plays along with disguise, so it fits together well. It’s obviously a problem to deal with.”
On special teams coach Brant Boyer: “Coach Boyer on special teams, it’s an excellent group there. They have a lot of team speed. Certainly, I’m sure they feel better about the kicking situation after last week, but that’s always a dangerous part of playing against the Jets.”
On running back Le’Veon Bell, who signed with the Jets this spring after voluntarily sitting out his final season in Pittsburgh: “Bell’s clearly one of the top backs in the league. Outstanding with the ball in his hands, great receiver, just a really hard matchup player and does an excellent job of breaking tackles. He’s a hard guy to get on the ground, whether he spins, jumps over guys, makes them miss in the open field, puts his shoulder down and runs through them.”
On slot receiver Jamison Crowder: “Crowder provides a lot of versatility for their offense without having to substitute, so they can use him in a lot of different ways in their jet motion packages, option routes, putting him in various positions that make it difficult for the defense to recognize and defend.”
On wideout Robby Anderson: “Of course, you have Anderson, who’s one of the top deep threats in the league. The guy’s got tremendous speed and deep-field playmaking abilities.”
On the Jets’ defense: “They have good players at every level of the defense. They’re explosive, they’re contact big-hitters, cause negative plays with their aggressiveness and contact plays.”
On linebacker C.J. Mosley: “He’s a good tackler, he runs well, has good range, has good playing strength. He’s one of the best players in the league.”
On safety Jamal Adams: “He’s very aggressive, a physical player, a contact player, very aggressive in the running game. He’s fast. He’s a tough player. He’s around the ball a lot, too. Similar to Mosley — different position, but he gets involved in a lot of plays, plays with great effort, hustles all the time, has a great motor.”
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images