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That's What They Said: Patriots HC Bill Belichick, WR Brandin Cooks

A challenging Broncos' defense

On Von Miller:


Bill Belichick:** "You just do the best you can. It's not any better on the other side with [OLB] Shaquil Barrett or [OLB Shane] Ray. It's not any better inside better with [NT Domata] Peko, [CB Chris] Harris Jr., [DE Derek] Wolfe and [DE Adam] Gotsis. Wherever you go you're not really going away from anybody, you're just going into somebody else. It's a tough problem. Miller can do it all; he can play the run, he's a great edge setter, and he's a great speed rusher--good counter move, good speed to power rush. He's seen double teams and things like that, he knows how to deal with them. He has a good inside spin and has the power to get away from those types of techniques. He's a good pass rusher and he's as good a player as there is in the league."

On Aqib Talib:

BB: **"Aqib's a great player and a tremendous competitor. I have so much respect for him. He's just a great football player. Tackles well, tough and is really smart. Great ball skills, can handle the big receivers and can handle the quick receivers. Very crafty in his disguises and some of the techniques he uses out there, he's a very tough guy for the quarterback to read or to fool. He's as good as we play against. Honestly [it's] really, really challenging to throw a ball in their secondary, period, but especially Talib. He's just an outstanding player."

On Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib:

Brandin Cooks:"You're talking about two of some of the best corners in our game that [are] playing at a high level and have been doing it for years. Guys like that are very patient. They're smart players. You watch them on film, [and] they seem to be at the right place at the right time, often. You give them a lot of credit."

The Patriots' offensive weapons

On playing with quarterback Tom Brady:


BC: **I think it's been going well. We've still got a lot of work to do to be able to play our best ball together, but I think we're headed in the right direction. What I admire about him — I mean, his work ethic and attention to detail is unbelievable. You've got to respect that for a guy that's been playing this game for so long.

On tight end Rob Gronkowski:

BC:"He's a dominant player, a guy who works hard, as well. As far as putting pressure on defenses, he's just one of those guys you've got to account for every Sunday."

New England's defensive improvement

BB:"We're just trying to improve every week — fundamentals, overall execution and techniques. We're trying to coach better. Just a lot of little things, probably."


BC: **"Really we've just [been] growing every week and kind of stopping with the penalties and some of the things that hurt ourselves. I watch from the other side of the ball, [and] they're just playing complementary football and they're playing together. I think that's one of the big differences."

On how the Broncos' offense could challenge the defense:

BB:"The receivers are explosive. The backs are good. They have a lot of fast players. A lot of guys that are hard to tackle. A lot of guys that are really, really good in space. [TE Virgil] Green has made some plays going down the seam, too. They're a very talented team. They're explosive in the kicking game and defensively, too. Honestly, they can be on offense when they're not on offense. Their return game is very explosive. [On defense, they're] taking the ball away and strip sacks. Talib had the interception return for a touchdown. They can do a lot of damage on any play if you're not alert or make a mistake. They have great players in all three phases of the game who can take advantage of it."

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