FOXBORO -- The word "different" has been floating around Gillette Stadium all week.
Different as in, Tim Tebow and the Broncos' style. Not only are they different compared to every other NFL team, they now have packages that are different from what the Patriots saw in their Week 15 trip to Denver.
"They've added some things to their sub-defense, like their nickel and dime package last week," said Bill Belichick on Thursday.
"You see them adding plays, adding formations. It's hard to tell how much they're checking, but clearly there's some communication going on at the line of scrimmage, relative to defensive looks. I think you see a little more of that, that Tim has with the offense, and the communication that they have at the line of scrimmage."
It's easy to see that Tebow's role as a game-manager has improved since the Pats defeated the Broncos 41-23. He looked like a more complete quarterback in his 316-yard, two-touchdown passing performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend.
His improved passing game certainly adds to the different style of offense that Denver had has shown since Tebow became a starter.
"For the safeties and the corners, it's a little different game than I think what you play most of the time in this league," said Belichick. "I think as a defensive back, you're expecting passes on every play, and then when you don't get it, you don't get it. But here, it's run-force option responsibilities, and then play-action and double moves and things like that.
"Every time you come out of the huddle, the secondary's primary responsibility is always pass. But in addition to that, they've got a lot of run-force responsibilities in this game, and option and those kind of things. So it definitely puts pressure on, from that standpoint, that there's a lot more things to think about, for a defensive back."
Tebow's ability to run the ball himself, just adds to the different type of attack Denver will once again throw the Patriots' way in their second meeting of the year.
"I think what separates them from everybody else, is the amount of option that they run," said Belichick. "Whether it's the triple-option, whether there's actually three players involved, or whether it's the quarterback handing the ball off but potentially keeping it away from the direction of the play.
"You don't see a lot of teams do that. When they just hand the ball off, then their plays are similar to every body else's. They obviously have their own unique players doing them, and that makes them unique, but the amount of the quarterback keeping the ball with the different combinations of blocking schemes that they have and the true option plays -- either speed option or triple option, or dive, quarterback pitch -- you don't see that very often in this league. We're join got see it a lot Saturday night . . . They're different. I mean, we just don't see that."