Belichick bits: Pats dial it back today

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick hits from Bill Belichick's news conference this morning (10:30 a.m.):

Light walkthrough practice today. Unlike the normal Wednesday schedule, when they would be outside and working at a medium to full-speed pace, the Patriots will only hold a walkthrough practice inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse today. Belichick described it as a longer-than-normal walkthrough, which is a result of getting back to town a bit late on Monday because of weather.

Leadership/captains talk. The second question Belichick was asked, by ESPNBoston's Steven Krasner, was on the role the team's captains have played this season in the team's success. That topic carried most of the news conference, with Belichick complimenting captains Tom Brady, Alge Crumpler, Kevin Faulk, Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork. Later, when asked why the Patriots don't wear captains patches, Belichick tossed a little zinger at the NFL. "I guess that's another one of the new traditions in the league. I've seen a lot of football games, there has been football for a long time, and there have been captains with no patches and it seemed like everything was fine. I guess that's another one of our improvements, with the new overtime rules and all that."

Thoughts on Miami. Although the Patriots have locked up the No. 1 seed heading into Sunday's game against the visiting Dolphins, Belichick still approached his news conference the way he always does, breaking down the strengths of the opposition. "Miami looks like they usually do -- tough on defense, tough team to run against, they are right at the top of the league in everything statistically on defense. The usual complement of players on offense -- good running backs, good tight end, good receivers, a big, strong offensive line. You have to be able to stop the run against these guys. They're playing well in the punt return game with [Davone] Bess, as usual, and [Nolan] Carroll on kickoffs. They're dangerous there. We've had some real good battles with these guys over the last couple of years. It will be tough, and we have to get ready to get it turned around here and get ready for a division game. we haven't played them for a while now, so we have to re-familiarize ourselves with the Dolphins."