Bill Belichick on the Jets

New England's head coach talks about the Jets, and facing Chad Pennington for the first time.

Do you see any difference in the Jets defense since you last played them?


I think the Jets are really a good football team right now.  I think they are doing a lot of things well.  Defensively, they are playing very well—taking the ball away, getting turnovers, tackling well, getting a lot of people to the ball.  Their defensive front is very active, obviously their LB's are good and their defensive pass rush is excellent.  Starting with Abraham, they are very disruptive in the pocket.  They are getting some big hits in the secondary, especially from their S's.  I think they are playing very well as a team.  Their special teams, especially their return game, is as good as anybodies in the league, an outstanding weapon.  Offensively, they are running the ball well, Pennington has been very efficient as a QB and Coles has made big plays as well as any WR in the league this year.  So it is a team that is well-balanced, and they are doing things well, and that is why they are winning.       


What do you think of Pennington?


Accurate, good decision-maker, handles the game well.  I think for me, the main criteria for QB's is record and doing what he needs to do for the team to win.  And Pennington has done a good job of it and he has put his team in a position to win.  He has been efficient, been effective, and managed the game well and made good decisions.  I think that is the bottom line.  He has won a lot of games this year.


How has their offense changed schematically since they put him in there?


It is similar, obviously Coles is having a big year, Moss put up some big plays, Curtis is running well, they are getting contributions from Becht and Wayne and Richie and spreading it around and getting a lot of different people involved.  The offensive line has played solidly too, particularly in the running game.  So I think that overall, they are just doing a lot of things well in all three phases of the game.  The team has come together, they are playing very effectively, and they have a real good record in the last two months.


How much credit do you give Herm to getting the Jets season turned around?


I give him all of the credit in the world.  They got off to a slow start, they were struggling in some areas, but they came back, had a great win out in SD and I think Herm and the coaching staff have done an outstanding job with that team.  Again, it has not been just one player or one thing, it has been in all of the areas, and they are as hot as any team is in the league right now. 


You caused a little stir up here after the last game.


That was unintentional.  What I was trying to say was that we had played a Monday night game against PIT, come back on a short week, and I was trying to complement our players and assistant coaches for the job they did in the short week.  I don't mean any disrespect for Herman and any of the Jets coaches, the players, the organization, or anything else.  I hold them in high regard.  Anything that came out negatively was not really the intention of what I was trying to do.  I was just trying to complement our team and our players for what they had done that week.  I have all of the respect in the world for the Jets—the Jets coaches, their players, and their entire organization.


But Bill you also made another unsolicited comment after the game that you were surprised that the Jets coach would make some kind of comment about your defense.


That was a long time ago, I am moving way on past that.  This is the biggest game of the year, coming up this week.  And that is where our focus and intentions are and I have the highest respect and regard for the Jets and their entire organization from top to bottom. 


What are your thoughts on the NYJ/ CHI team since you almost lost to CHI as well?


We know what kind of team the Bears are.  We had a similar game out there with them a little while back.  The Jets were moving the ball down the field, in position to come back and win the game.  Had a tough break on the turnover, but that is a game like a lot of games in this league.  You get a TD called back on a KOR, but that is like a lot of games in the league—one or tow plays changes the outcome of the game.  That is how competitive it is.  That is a game that the Jets could have easily won, and, like I said, with the penalty calling back a TD, that really ends up being the difference in the game.  That is what the fine line is.  Tough loss for them, we can relate to that with what happened to us last week.  Both teams are coming off of tough losses, playing the most important game of the year this weekend.  So we will se who is able to bounce back from that situation.  We'll find out Sunday night.


If the Jets coaches took your comment a certain way would you be willing to clear the air with them?  Or do you regret some of your phrasing?


Let's move on.


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