BOSTON (CBS) — No one talks up an opponent like Bill Belichick, whether the Patriots head coach is talking about an all-time great or someone who is… not all that good.
We’re all patiently waiting for next week when Belichick will have no option but to discuss an upcoming matchup with Tom Brady. At that point, he’ll actually have to talk about the GOAT, which should be real interesting after the quarterback led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl title after leaving New England.READ MORE: New England Revolution Top DC United 3-2 To Inch Closer To Points Record
But first, Belichick and the Patriots have to worry about the New Orleans Saints in Week 3. And as always, Belichick had a lot of nice things to say about New Orleans quarterback Jameis Winston on Wednesday.
Winston is the leader of the Saints offense this season, taking over for the retired Drew Brees. Those are some big cleats to fill, but Belichick made it sound like it will be a seamless transition for Sean Payton and company. (Spoiler alert: It will not be seamless.)
“He’s a really good quarterback,” Belichick said of Winston on Wednesday. “He threw for 5,000 yards in Tampa, so it’s not like this guy hasn’t been productive.
“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s accurate. He’s got good touch on the ball,” continued Belichick. “The offense that he ran in Tampa was a lot different than the offense he’s running in New Orleans, but fundamentally, this is a big strong guy who can throw the ball accurately. He’s very good down the field. He’s a tough guy to tackle. He’s strong in the pocket. He can make every throw on the field. He’s pretty good.”READ MORE: Bruins Lose To Flyers, 6-3
Winston looked pretty great in Week 1 when he threw five touchdown passes in a blowout win over the Green Bay Packers, but he struggled in a Week 2 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Winston returned to earth with just 111 passing yards and two interceptions against the Panthers, completing 11 of his 22 passes. He ran for a touchdown in the defeat, but was also sacked four times as he received a steady dose of pressure from the Panthers.
But Belichick highlighted Winston’s ability to run on Wednesday, something the Patriots defense will have to be mindful of come Sunday.
“If you’ve seen him run with the ball, I don’t know why you’d want him to run with the ball in space. I don’t think that’s a good idea at all,” said Belichick. “He’s hard to tackle and he runs over people. I don’t think you want him running wild in your secondary.”
Belichick has gone against Winston just once before, back in 2017 when the Patriots beat the Buccaneers 19-14 on Thursday Night Football. Winston was 26-of-46 for 334 yards and a touchdown, but current Patriots kicker Nick Folk missed three field goals for Tampa that evening.
While he was talking up Winston on Wednesday, Belichick saved his best praise for Payton, whom he greatly admires for the many different formations and schemes he uses on offense.MORE NEWS: Red Sox Bats Go Ice Cold In Game 5 Of ALCS
“It’s really hard to predict what Sean is going to do. They have a huge playbook, and it’s the reason why they have led the league in offense for the last 15 years,” said Belichick. “Sean is very good at creating situations that put the defense in conflict. They hit fast and you have to be ready for that tempo.”