Picked-up pieces from Bill Belichick's Monday conference call with reporters today:
Leading off with special teams. When Belichick opens his press conferences or conference calls at the start of the week, he usually runs down the opposing team, stating areas he views them as particularly strong. Belichick said the Jets "do a great job at everything" before starting his thoughts with special teams, specifically the Jets' return game. Maybe it was a coincidence, but it would make sense to think this is an area that concerns Belichick more than most, especially since the Patriots have been up and down on special teams of late.
Respect paid to Ryan multiple times. There was a time when Belichick seemed to avoid any mention of the Jets head coach (Eric Mangini), but there is no such vibe with Rex Ryan. Belichick lauded Ryan multiple times, crediting him with doing "a really good job of putting that team together" and also for being "a real good game-plan coach." On the game itself, Belichick said: "It will be a big challenge for us Monday night. We have a lot of work to do. But always looking forward to a matchup with the Jets."
Danny Woodhead a natural story line. With the Patriots hosting the Jets, one of the obvious story lines is running back Danny Woodhead facing his former team for the first time. Woodhead has emerged as a big part of the Patriots' offense since being signed Sept. 18 after the Jets cut him to create a roster spot for receiver David Clowney. "He's been an important part of our team all year," Belichick said. "He plays in the running game, the passing game, and on special teams. He's done a real solid job."
Not sharing thoughts on Broncos. Belichick was asked what he thinks about former assistant Josh McDaniels and the penalty that the NFL has imposed on him and the Broncos for videotaping a 49ers walkthrough practice. The answer was straight-forward. "I'm really focused on the Jets," he responded.