As the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos prepare to meet for the second time this season, head coach Bill Belichick reckons that Tim Tebow and Co. have improved a lot since their last encounter in Week 15. Back then it was quarterback, Tom Brady who dominated the show as the Patriots thrashed the Broncos to a 41-23 defeat.
In his post practice news conference, Belichick stated that Tebow was a quick learner who was backed up by an ambitious and talented squad. Belichick further said that the Broncos have improved both offensively and defensively.
“I think they’re a really solid team that has performed well in every area,” Belichick said. “They obviously have very good specialists in the kicking game, returners, Eddie Royal had a big play against Buffalo, of course, he’s very capable back there. They cover well, they kick well, made some big kicks all year.”
Belichick told reporters that the Broncos had a fast, athletic, strong defensive lineup that performed well in the pass rush. Belichick also said that Broncos physical play was admirable.
“Defensively, they’re fast,” Belichick extolled. “They have an excellent pass rush with [Von] Miller and [Elvis] Dumervil outside. They’re athletic inside, their linebackers blitz well, [D.J.] Williams and [Wesley] Woodyard and those guys, [Robert] Ayers, those guys make a lot of plays, in pass rush and with their athleticism. They cover well, they’re good in the secondary. The corners are good, [Chris] Harris has done a good job for them. Safeties are physical. They have a good defensive team.”
Belichick also recognized the Broncos’ success offensively. Belichick explained that the Broncos had run the ball against all of their opponents and they had large arsenal of offensive game plays.
“Offensively, they’ve run the ball against everybody. They have a lot of different ways to attack you in the running game. That’s definitely a problem. Passing game comes off the running game. Their play-action passes and getting you to commit to the run and being able to get the ball to their receivers – they’ve got some big receivers, strong receivers that are good down the field. When they’ve had to throw it, they’ve done a good job of that.”
Tebow also received words of praise from Belichick. The 59-year-old coach said that the rookie quarterback from Florida had a bright future. Belichick stated that Tebow was fast learner and an impressive improviser. Belichick also praised Tebow for his outstanding performance against Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Their two-minute drives and of course, [Tim] Tebow has done a good job of keeping plays alive with his athleticism. He’s able to get his eyes downfield and make connections for big plays in the passing game, that are improvised or come off a scramble or come after the play has already started to develop that he and his receivers do a great job of adjusting to, they made several of them yesterday against Pittsburgh and we all know what kind of defense Pittsburgh has and how good they were statistically in so many areas.”
Belichick concluded that the Patriots will have to be on their toes if they want to pick a win against the Broncos on Saturday night. He pointed out that the Steelers were one of the favorites for the Super Bowl, therefore if the Broncos could take them out the Patriots should beware of making mistakes.
“It just didn’t play out that way yesterday because Denver was able to execute very well against them. That will be a big challenge for us in all three areas of the game but offensively they looked very good yesterday.”