Quick hits from Bill Belichick on Colts

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick hits from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s conference call on Monday:

Colts’ tight end usage. The Colts’ offense likes to utilize all of the tight ends (Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle) to create matchup problems and boost blocking along the line. “They’ve done a good job with those guys and they use Doyle some, too,” Belichick said, adding that identifying where the tight ends align at the snap will be a key. “So a lot of times they have three tight ends on the field. They have a good mixture of one tight end, two tight end and three tight ends in their offense.”

On Fleener and Allen. Fleener is labeled the receiving tight end, though Allen provides a strong threat, especially in the red zone. “Both Fleener and Allen have been tough matchups in the passing game,” Belichick said. “There are times when they are out there together and there are times when it’s one or the other, but they both have done a good job of creating separation and making plays in the red area.” Belichick also gave high praise to Allen’s traditional tight end skills as a blocker. “I’ve been really impressed with Allen’s blocking,” Belichick said. “He’s one of the best blocking tight ends that we will see.”

Wayne keeps making plays. Belichick has had to scheme against Colts veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne many times throughout his coaching career. Belichick is still impressed by Wayne’s skills, even at 35 years old. "[He's] still really good at everything," Belichick said. "Obviously a real smart and experienced guy knows how to set up routes, make all of his routes look the same. [He] does a great job of releasing, and at the top of his routes, he creates separation at just the right time when the quarterback is ready to throw. He’s been a key guy for them in critical situations.”

Checking in on former Patriots. The Colts have two familiar faces on defense, with former undrafted safety Sergio Brown and Patriots 2009 second-round pick Darius Butler. “Darius is pretty much in the same role he was in last year -- the nickelback,” Belichick said. “[Greg] Toler and [Vontae] Davis usually outside and Butler usually in the slot. And Sergio has had a big role in the kicking game, and then when [LaRon] Landry [was out] the last four or five weeks he’s had a lot of playing time at safety and [has been] less involved in the kicking game. He’s been in those two roles and looks like they are independent of each other.”

Hoyer and Mallett showdown. Two former Tom Brady backups in Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer and Houston’s Ryan Mallett, who will be making his first career start, will be facing off this weekend. Belichick is proud of both of his former players. “Both those guys worked really hard here and both did a good job for us,” Belichick said. “A lot of respect for both of them and a personal liking for both guys. We wish them well.”