DAVIE (CBSMiami) – On Wednesday, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed the South Florida media ahead of the Patriots’ matchup with the Dolphins on Monday Night Football.
The Patriots trounced the Dolphins just two weeks ago in Foxboro 35-17, behind four touchdown passes from ageless wonder Tom Brady.
At 40, Brady still sets the standard for quarterback play in the NFL.
“Tom works hard,” said Belichick of Brady. “He’s here every day and puts an awful lot into his preparation physically and mentally for the game.” Belichick made reference to Brady’s legendary discipline for dieting, where the quarterback aims to cut out foods that lead to inflammation.
Since 2010, Brady and Belichick are 11-3 against the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins have seemingly caught a break for Monday’s meeting, with Patriots tight end and second-leading receiver Rob Gronkowski set to serve a one-game suspension for a late hit. “Gronk” leads the Pats with 7 receiving touchdowns this year, scoring two of those against the Dolphins in Week 12.
“We’ll do what we always do (without Gronkowski)- take the players we have available and match them up against the great team and defense Miami has,” said Belichick. “We’ll try to come up with the best plan to be competitive with them this Monday night.” Modesty aside, the Patriots are actually 20-5 in games played without Gronkowski.
Belichick was very complimentary about what he saw on film from the Dolphins rushing attack in Miami’s Week 13 win over the Broncos. Kenyan Drake stepped up as Miami’s featured back, carrying 23 times for a career-best 120 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought Drake did a great job for them,” noted Belichick. “He showed a lot of patience on that touchdown run, and we know he’s a very fast and explosive player.”
Belichick also heaped praise on Damien Williams, noting both he and Drake are dangerous in the passing game. Williams missed the Broncos game with a separated shoulder, and his status for this week is uncertain.
The Miami Dolphins will host the New England Patriots on Monday, December 11th from Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8:30 PM.