Belichick not expecting any problems with Bucs

Belichick not expecting any problems with Bucs
August 13, 2013, 12:45 pm
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FOXBORO -- Even if the Patriots did practice "dirty" last week in Philadelphia, as alleged by Eagles cornerback Cary Williams, Tampa Bay shouldn't fear.

Bill Belichick is confident all will go well this round.

"We worked with [the Buccaneers] last year so I feel like we have pretty good experience with how things went. We made a couple of adjustments last year, hopefully those will be smooth this year," New England's coach said before Tuesday's joint session. "I'm not expecting any problems."

Belichick and Greg Schiano's squads will work together for three days before facing off Friday, August 16 at 8 p.m. An interesting wrinkle to this year's schedule is they will meet again one month later in Week 3's regular season tilt.

Of course, in the mind of New England's head coach, that game might as well be three years off.

"I don't think right now that's what we're worried about," he said. "We're just trying to improve our team. We've got a lot of work to do and I think we can get better this week working against the Bucs and that's what we're about. We'll worry about that in five, six weeks, whenever that gets here."

That doesn't mean this go-around's lessons can't be applied in September. Belichick believes joint practices are invaluable as a preparation tool for the regular season.

"It'll be good for us to see different players, different scheme. We're going to have to deal with those during the year too, so it's good to get kind of a whole new look this week."

Seeing a variety of matchups this early in the year is key. The Patriots got to flex their ground game last week with 248 yards rushing to Philadelphia's 131, but Tampa could prove to be the aggressor this time. Belichick had particularly high praise for second-year Buccaneers back Doug Martin.

"He's a good three-down player. There's really no reason for him to come off the field skill-wise; it's just a question of how they want to manage him. He can run, he can catch. He's a good inside runner, good outside runner, can go the distance. Handles the ball well in the passing game. Good on blitz pickup. He can do it all."

New England welcomes the challenge. The fights certainly won't get easier come Week 1.

"I think it's a good way to prepare our team," Belichick said. "We've seen ourselves, we've seen Philadelphia, and now we'll see Tampa. Our players get a lot of exposure and I think those things will serve us well at some point down the road."