Belichick cautiously optimistic about run game

Belichick cautiously optimistic about run game
August 10, 2013, 6:00 pm
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New England's ground game stole the spotlight against the Eagles Friday night. The Patriots marched decisively down the field on their first series, running on six straight plays for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Head coach Bill Belichick was cautiously optimistic on his Saturday afternoon conference call.
"Some of that was, I'd say, real good blocking. Some of it was real good running. Some of it was that we were fortunate that we caught a good play against a bad defense. There were times when we weren’t as consistent blocking, running so forth.

"I thought the receivers did a good job of handling the secondary. That opened up a couple opportunities for us to get longer runs when the secondary players, the safeties could come up, beat the tackle for short gains at the line of scrimmage and when we had to block them."

Though 248 total yards and three rushing touchdowns look gaudy, Belichick says the numbers are a bit deceptive.

"We had a lot of snaps, so that gave us an opportunity to repeat some plays and see some things run two, three, four times, either against a little bit different look on defense or maybe see how a player did after he did it once. The second time, was it better? Did he see it better? Did he read it better? Whatever it was, 30 runs or whatever we had last night, that was a good number to get snapped."

LeGarrette Blount was a top performer. The former Buccaneer had 11 rushes for 101 yards and two TD's in his preseason Patriots debut. Some analysts have put Blount on the roster bubble as character concerns cut down his playing time in Tampa last season. Friday night in Philadelphia, the back helped his cause with powerful running, good vision, and smart decisions.

Belichick added a positive performance review of his own.
"LeGarrette ran for however many, [1,007] yards whatever it was, his rookie season. It’s not like he hasn’t performed well in this league before. We traded for a player that we thought was a good player. It’s no shock he can run the ball. We all know that he did a nice job last night."

True to form, the coach tempered his enthusiasm -- not in Blount, but in the running game in general.

"I think that was an area that we showed some level of execution. At the end there are still some things we can do better."