BOSTON (CBS) — It is well-known that the easiest way to get Bill Belichick to speak at length about anything is to ask him about the players he used to coach for the New York Giants. Often, a simple question about the changes in defensive schemes or employment of linebackers will inspire the future Hall of Fame head coach to wax poetic about Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson, Harry Carson, and of course, Lawrence Taylor.

Taylor, obviously, is one of, if not the greatest defensive players to ever play the sport of football, and Belichick obviously has immense respect for what Taylor did on the field.

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So it should not be taken lightly that on Wednesday morning in a conference call with Houston reporters, Belichick offered perhaps the highest level of praise possible on J.J. Watt.

“Watt’s a major force,” Belichick said. “There are very few players I would put in the same conversation with Lawrence Taylor. I would put J.J. in there.”

From Belichick, that truly is the ultimate compliment.

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Later in the morning, when speaking with the New England media, Belichick spoke more about Watt’s impact on the field.

“He’s pretty special,” Belichick said. “He does a lot of things really well, and everybody game plans for him every game. He gets as lot of double teams, the line’s sliding to his side, teams trying to run away from him, teams trying to handle him, but he does a good job with all of it. In spite of all the attention that he gets and the schemes that are put in from week to week to try to handle him, he still has a tremendous amount of production.

“It’s similar to some of the things that we saw from teams dealing with Taylor at New York, so he’s got that kind of disruptiveness,” Belichick added. “I think for the position [Watt] plays, he’s as disruptive of a defensive lineman as I’ve seen in the league, in the same general category as LT.”

With the Patriots coming off two straight losses and facing the difficult task of traveling for a prime-time game in Houston, preparing for Watt may be the last thing Belichick wants to do.

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“This might be a good game for him to rest,” the coach quipped to the Houston media.