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Belichick recalls pre-season loss


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Quick hits: Belichick recalls pre-season loss


Bill Belichick has coached his Patriots to two out of the last three Super Bowl titles, a NFL-record 21 straight wins, 17 straight home wins, along with an 11-1 record this season.

But he says his team trying to catch up to the Bengals in time for Sunday’s game in Foxboro, clearly still livid about the 31-3 loss at Paul Brown Stadium back on Aug. 21.

“You can say that it didn’t matter, but we were all there,” Belichick told his Cincinnati media conference call Wednesday. “Believe me, we weren’t going out there trying to do that. Cincinnati is a fine football team. We knew it then, we know it now. They’ve got three guys on offense (left guard Eric Steinbach, tight end Reggie Kelly, fullback Jeremi Johnson) that didn’t even play against us and they’re key components that are going to make them better than when we played them the last time.”

Belichick is concerned about a secondary that has allowed the second most number of long plays this season matching up against the Bengals’ receivers.

“I’m worried about (Chad Johnson), I’m worried about T.J. I’m worried about Kelly, I’m worried about Schobel. I’m worried about all of them,” Belichick said.

“Look, Baltimore is a very good defensive football team,” Belichick said. “To go down there and hang those (24) points up in the fourth quarter, to hang up 31 against us in the first half, this is an explosive team. Very explosive offensively, and they’re big play team defensively with all the turnovers. 31 (forced) fumbles ? That’s off the charts.” . . .

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has a healthy team this week with only S Rogers Beckett (neck), DL Carl Powell (knee), and RB Chris Perry (abdomen) questionable. Perry also has the flu. CB Deltha O’Neal (ankle) and RB Kenny Watson (concussion) are probable. . .

Like Lewis, Belichick said the April trade with Cincinnati for Bengals’ all-time rusher Corey Dillon improved both teams with the Bengals getting a second-rounder that turned out to be Maryland safety Madieu Williams with the 56th pick. With 1,665 yards, Dillon is on pace to break New England’s franchise record held by Curtis Martin. With 1,473, Rudi Johnson is on pace to break Dillon’s franchise mark. Williams, now starting, has three interceptions, a sack, nine pass breakups, and is fourth on the team in tackles with 52 in a Rookie of the Year season.

“Everything I had heard about Corey from people who played with and coached him was all very positive,” said Belichick of his decision to add a player who lobbied so hard to get out of Cincinnati. His consistency and work ethic, his toughness, his desire to win.” . . .

If Dillon isn’t saying anything about the Bengals this week, then the Bengals are determined not to say anything about him but nice things.

“Corey knows how I especially feel about him running the football,” Anderson said. “I think he’s one of the top backs of all time, and he’s playing particularly well for them. He’s having an unbelievable year.”

As for their relationship, or anything else about Dillon, Anderson made it clear he won’t be delving to controversy this week: “Football games are played in the lines. It’s football. It’s not a damn circus show.” . . .

Sounds like he's giving the Bengals a lot of credit and maybe he realizes this isn't going to be a blowout like some people are saying. But of course he is going to say this kind of stuff especially to the Cincinnati media.

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Sounds like he's giving the Bengals a lot of credit and maybe he realizes this isn't going to be a blowout like some people are saying.

And there was no blowout! Anybody who said there was going to be one, by EITHER team, would have to be crazy.

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