FOXBORO A few highlights from Bill Belichick's Monday afternoon press conference:
Randy Moss' third-quarter touchdown reception, one of the prettiest plays you'll ever see and the 150th TD of his career, is one we'll be talking about all season. But for Belichick, it was just another in a long line of ridiculous catches that he's seen from Moss.
"It was a terrific catch, but I think we've seen that play in practice at least a dozen times," Belichick said. "The first time it happened I was like, 'Wow, my God,' but then you see it again, and again. I'm not saying it was a routine play, I don't mean it that way. Just that for those of us at practice, who watch Randy, I've seen that play a number of times. "
After Jets safety Eric Smith sent Wes Welker to the sidelines with a crushing (and illegal) first-quarter hit, Belichick was seen engaging the officials in a relatively volatile conversation. Belichick was vague on the details of the talk, but made his opinion on the matter very clear.
"I don't think that's really what the league's looking for, he siad. "Those plays. I can't imagine that they are.
The coach was asked specifically about the play of two of his younger defensive players. Rookie Jermaine Cunningham, who made two tackles as a reserve, and second-year defensive end Ron Brace, who struggled for most of the preseason (with injury and conditioning) but started at right defensive end and made four tackles against the Jets.
"I'd say Cunningham's a little farther along from last week against Cincinnati, Belichick said. "It's almost like his second preseason game, really. He hasn't had a lot of opportunity to play. But Jermaine's working hard. He's coming along. He's doing things better in practice. Some of the things show up in the game, some of them don't because the opportunities aren't there, but we'll see how it goes."
"Overall, our run defense was competitive, he said when questioned on Brace, "and there were also times where we were a little softer than we want to be. But Ron's gotten some time in. He got off to a slow a start in training camp but he's picked it up and gotten more reps and playing time."
The overall mood of the press conference was, as you'd imagine, pretty somber, but at the end, Belichick was asked if, despite all the negatives, there was anything positive that jumped out as he reviewed the game