Every Tuesday, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia hold conference calls with reporters.
1. Hightower, at 270 pounds, in pass coverage: Patricia was asked about linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who was in coverage on the Dolphins' game-winning touchdown pass. Hightower has had some ups and downs in that area this season, but Patricia was positive in his assessment. "He's obviously a guy who’s got a great skill set. He’s a big guy, can move well, and is a guy that maybe behind the scenes does a lot more than sometimes shows up in a production standpoint," he said, before adding that Hightower, like all players, remains focused on improvement. Patricia noted that Hightower has also taken on more responsibility within the defense and does "a lot of things out there on the field for us from a communication standpoint and an adjustment standpoint."
2. Siliga 'quietly' showing up on the line: Second-year defensive tackle Sealver Siliga has started the last two games, and Patricia was asked about what it's been like to work with him. "He’s a real quiet guy, but an extremely hard worker," he answered. "He sits in the classroom and gets all the information and asks good questions. ... He’s a strong guy, he’s a big guy, he’s got good size about him, so [he’s] somebody that we try to get in the game to hold the point and be strong at the line of scrimmage and play with good technique."
3. Belichick's snapshot view of the Ravens: All focus is on the Ravens, and Belichick opened his remarks by sharing his general view of the team. "Strong in all three areas of the game. They have real good specialists, good return game, good kicker, good punter – really solid there. Defensively, I think they’ve really seemed to improve a little bit each week and played particularly well the last few weeks. Offensively, it’s an explosive group with a good quarterback, good running backs, tight ends are good, [Dennis] Pitta is back. The receivers are big and they’re good. This is a solid football team that’s playing really well. I’ve spent most of the time watching their more recent games. They had some setbacks early but lately they’ve been very impressive, and that will be a big challenge for us this week down there."