FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Miami Dolphins are in the first year of the coach Joe Philbin era, and one of his first major decisions was tabbing Mike Sherman as his offensive coordinator. Sherman brought along his West Coast-based offense to Miami, and while the results have been up and down this season, the offense has shown improvement overall.
"He's a dynamic player, and I think you've got to know where he is whenever he is on the field," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday of Bush. "He could be in the backfield, out of the backfield, they can hand him the ball, they can throw him the ball, and he can get it in a lot of different ways. He's got good strength for his size. I'm not saying he's a fullback, but he runs with good power for his size. He's got great quickness, great speed, he can run through tackles, he can run around people."
He compared Bush to C.J. Spiller of the Bills.
"It's similar to Spiller, that type of player," Belichick said. "Very hard to match up with in coverage, he's a tough guy to defend. You've got to know where he is, there's no question."
As for Bess, who is tied for the team lead with 55 catches, Belichick sees many of the traditional slot receiver traits.
"He's quick, he's got good speed, he's got good hands, he's a smart route runner, he's got explosive one-step quickness, he's a hard guy to tackle, he's strong," Belichick continued. "He has good balance, he's a hard guy to match up with one-on-one, he can catch, and he's obviously smart. He does a lot of different things, different positions, put him in motion, time him up on different releases, crossing routes, pick patterns, option routes, things like that. He's a good player."
Pouncey, in just his second season as a pro, has already established himself as one of the best centers in football. Belichick highlighted Pouncey and Nick Mangold of the Jets as two of the best at the position.
"Very good. Strong. He's a 300-pound guy, but he plays stronger than that," Belichick noted. "He's got very good playing strength, good hand strength, good punch, athletic. He had a play last week against Seattle, they were in the shotgun and they ran a crack sweep. And he pulled and he was easily out in front of Bush on the play, four of five yards, blocked the corner. He looked like a fullback running out there, better than some fullbacks. He can run, he's got good quickness, he's tough, he does a good job in the pocket of I'd say cleaning the pocket up. Guys that are tied up with other rushers or other blockers, he comes in there and knocks them down. He gives the quarterback room to step up and throw.
Beyond his strength and toughness, Belichick also pointed out Pouncey's dynamic athleticism for a center.
"Athletically, he can get out on space on screens and pulls, get out to the second level on linebackers, he's strong enough to handle the down guys that are on him," he added. "He sees the players line up over him, he's quick enough to reach them, he's a good finisher, his shotgun snaps have improved. He's one of the best centers in the league."