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Belichick is in rare form

Coach candid on several topics

FOXBOROUGH -- Friday mornings with Bill Belichick are probably the most personal and informative of the week. After his team has had a good week of practice, he's engaging and talks pure football.

It might be a long Sunday for the Jets.

One of the topics yesterday was matchups on the offensive and defensive lines.

A big matchup in tomorrow afternoon's game is left tackle Matt Light against defensive end John Abraham. They have been battling since 2001, Light's first year in the league and Abraham's second. Sometimes Light plays him straight up, sometimes he gets help. Stopping Abraham, who leads the AFC with seven sacks, is a monumental task. Belichick noted that Light is getting better against the top pass rushers in the AFC East.

"Matt is getting really good coaching," Belichick said. "Dante [Scarnecchia] is as good of a line coach as there is. He has had him for four years. He should be better. It would be a disgrace, really, for him to have that kind of coaching and not improve over that time frame. Yes, he has gotten better, but [Aaron] Schobel [of Buffalo] has come along, too. [Jason] Taylor [of Miami], he is pretty good. Abraham, this is his fifth year. You see him improving, too. Shaun Ellis [of the Jets]. A lot of those guys are going through their careers kind of simultaneously."

Light (6 feet 4 inches, 304 pounds) is not one of the biggest left tackles in the league. He had an appendectomy in the offseason, so he probably isn't playing at his optimum weight. "I think there is the big end of the starting left tackles, guys like [Bryant] McKinnie, [Jonathan] Ogden, [Orlando] Pace, and that group of guys," said Belichick. "You have a guy like Walter Jones and it is not like he is 380 pounds. He is 300, 305, whatever it is. I think it is rare now to see offensive linemen under 300. You get the giant guys that are in the 375-pound range, the Leonard Davises and the Mike Williamses."

The Patriots will have Light defending Abraham, but there's some question as to who will play right tackle. Tom Ashworth is listed on the injury report as questionable with a sore back. He may play, but with Adrian Klemm on injured reserve, the right tackle position is an issue. It could be Brandon Gorin, who played at Purdue with Light.

"We work other people at tackle," Belichick said. "So, if it comes to that, we will let you know. As I have said many times, you have to build your own depth. You just don't have a guy that can back up every spot along the line. Some people have to play a couple of spots and you are going to have to double up.

"If you only go to the game with seven linemen, which is what we normally go with, you have 10 spots, really, that you have to fill, the starter and the backup at each of those spots. Somebody has to double up and any time you think about taking your players and your depth into the game, if you ever lose two players in the same position, you are in trouble."

Belichick was rolling. He was particularly humorous on the topic of cut blocks as he spoke about the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry and how they ran screens where everyone was cut-blocking.

"If the defender is coming toward you aggressively, then the cut block is a good block. If the guy is standing there, then there really isn't anything to cut. I am definitely not a fan of lying on the ground and hoping they trip over you. That is not a cut block. That is a give-up block.

"But if you are running at me hard and I go at your legs, it is going to be hard for you to get your balance and get through. Now, if you are just standing there and I go low at you, you just give off a little bit and push me down with your hands or whatever and be able to play it. So, a lot of it is being able to read the tempo of the defender," Belichick said.

If Belichick is in a good mood, why not? His team is 5-0, playing the 5-0 Jets, the organization he left to win two Super Bowls. Most of the attention is on the Red Sox, anyway, so it's a chance for him to slip out of another week with another win, without much notice.

Fridays with Belichick is worth the trip to Foxborough. . . .
Troy Brown practiced for the first time this week and it appears he'll play tomorrow. Brown has missed the last three games with a right shoulder injury . . . The injury report remained status quo: Deion Branch (knee) is doubtful; Tyrone Poole (knee), Brown, Patrick Pass (thigh), Ashworth, and Rabih Abdullah (forearm) are questionable . . . The Patriots haven't added a 53d player to the roster. Linebacker Matt Chatham and rookie running back Cedric Cobbs remain possibilities.

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