Bill Belichick: Bucs are "dangerous" and "explosive"
The Bucs may be 0-6, but that didn't stop Patriots coach Bill Belichick from offering some effusive praise during Wednesday's teleconference, making them sound like the '85 Bears.
"They're a very good football team," Belichick said. "They've got a lot of skill players, and are playing hard. They do a lot of things well. It'll be a tough matchup in a lot of areas for us."
Belichick pointed out several instances that impressed him about the Bucs this season, including the late first-half drive against the Eagles and the turnovers they forced against Carolina. "You just can't afford to be sloppy or not execute well because there's enough talent out there on the field to make you pay for it."
"(Aqib) Talib is as good a corner as we've faced the year. You throw the ball around him and you're not careful with it, he's going to end up with it. Same thing with Tanard Jackson. If you dont do a good job on (Antonio) Bryant, Michael Clayton or (Kellen) Winslow or (Jerramy) Stevens going downt the field, they're big targets. (Josh) Johnson is putting the ball right on the money. You've got to defend a great set of backs.
"This is as much depth and talented a backfield as we'll see this year. And they can certainly hurt you in a lot of different ways and make you pay in a hurry.
"That's what I see from this football team. They're explosive, they're dangerous. They're great in the kicking game. They've got a great return game, they cover extremely well - both punts and kickoffs. (Torrie) Cox and (Maurice) Stovall and Niko (Koutouvides) and those guys are a major force, and as good a coverage team we've seen in our games this year. They're really a lot of challenges for us this week and lot of things we'll have to do a real good job on or they'll make plays in those areas like they already have this year."
-- JOE SMITH