While Patriots players were enjoying time off on their bye weekend, Bill Belichick was back at work on Sunday, and held a midday conference call with reporters.
New England will be on the road against the AFC South-leading Colts next Sunday night, and will have to stop the league’s best young quarterback, Andrew Luck. At 6 feet 4 inches, 240 pounds, Luck is a pocket passer but can improvise, and his size makes him tough to tackle.
“He’s big like [Pittsburgh’s Ben] Roethlisberger is big, so he’s hard to get down,” Belichick said. “Even when you get him, you get ahold of him, or you get a chance to hit him, he’s got good balance, real good playing strength. He can stand in there and throw the ball with guys hanging on him.
“But he’s fast, he can run out of the pocket, break tackles. [It’s] pretty close to you have to treat him like a running back.”
Luck has carried the ball 35 times for 129 yards with two touchdowns.
Keeping up with Jones
Belichick was asked for an update on Chandler Jones, who suffered a hip injury against the Jets last month. The Globe has reported Jones will miss about a month.
“He’s been making progress,” said the coach. “We’ll list him weekly, as we are required to do, on the injury and practice notifications. Whatever he’s able to do, then that’s the way it will be.”
Jones has not practiced since getting hurt. Without their best pass rusher, the Patriots have looked to players such as Akeem Ayers, acquired from Tennessee after Jones’s injury.
Belichick always stressed the importance of playing mistake-free.
“In the long run, it’s certainly not the way we want to go,’’ Belichick said. “We want to try to play penalty-free and take advantage of extra opportunities that our opponents give us and not give them to them. It’s certainly an area that hasn’t been good for us over the course of the first nine games, and we’re trying hard to correct it.”
“I think it just creates more opportunities for our opponents. It gives them extra plays on defensive penalties and it negates yardage on offense and puts us in long yardage,” he said. “We’ve been able to overcome a few of them, but they’ve also gotten us into a lot of trouble.