The New England Patriots‘ head coach and de facto general manager Bill Belichick knows his team is set to play one of the NFL’s elite on Sunday night. In fact, Belichick doesn’t believe anyone in the league is better than the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson.
Belichick talked about the Seahawks and more specifically their all-world quarterback during a live-streamed press conference on Thursday.
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Russell Wilson Was the NFC Player of the Week
Wilson is coming off a terrific season debut against the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks prevailed as Wilson led the way with a performance that earned him the NFC Player of the Week honors.
With Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense seemingly hitting on all cylinders, the Patriots have to be prepared for quarterback play at the highest level on Sunday night.
Bill Belichick Is Well-Acquainted With Russell Wilson
Belichick obviously has some firsthand knowledge of Wilson’s ability. Back in 2015, the Patriots handed Wilson and the Seahawks a heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl XLIX. While the Patriots got the upper hand in that meeting, Wilson and the Seahawks are 2-0 against New England in the regular season over the course of the future Hall-of-Famer’s career.
In those two regular-season meetings, Wilson has completed 64 percent of his passes, averaged 320 passing yards, and 3 TD passes. The Patriots are going to have to keep him from having that kind of performance on Sunday night if they want to have a chance to win their first road game of 2020.
How Bill Belichick Has the Team Preparing for Russell Wilson
Whenever a team is playing a mobile quarterback like Wilson, it’s important to have a player with similar athleticism on the roster to emulate him in practice sessions. Obviously, the Patriots’ starting quarterback Cam Newton has some similar physical gifts and has been providing some help in this vein, but it’s unlikely New England would want to overwork Newton in practice by having him overexert himself in this role.
Because of that, the surprisingly mobile, and newly signed Jake Dolegala has been helping out in this regard.
Dolegala is 6’7″, and drastically different in stature than the 5’11” Wilson, but any preparation is better than none. Practice squad cornerback Myles Bryant is also assisting in helping the team prepare for Wilson.
Stay tuned, it should be an interesting Week 2 clash.