SANTA CLARA – Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick just spoke to Bay Area reporters on a conference call. Here’s what he said about the 49ers.
Q: When you watch the film of the 49ers, what leaps out at you?
BELICHICK: They’re a real physical team They’re good in the run game. They average almost two yards per carry more than they give up – that’s pretty impressive. A lot of explosive players – Smith on defense, Goldson, Willis, all those guys. They can cause a lot of negative plays on defense. They make big plays on offense. In the kicking game, Andy Lee can change field position like few other punters in the league can. Ted Ginn, any time he touches the ball – he’s very explosive. They can score from anywhere on the field on offense, defense and special teams.
Q: What have your impressions been of Colin Kaepernick?
BELICHICK: He’s done a good job. He’s an explosive player. He makes big plays. The offensive system that they run with him in their – an element of the option, the pistol offense, that type of thing – it’s just another thing to prepare for, but he’s a very good quarterback.
Q: When you’re preparing for a team that has changed quarterbacks, how much do you study the early season film?
BELICHICK: We have to prepare for everybody. One play and the second guy could be in there after the first play of the game – we all know that. Alex Smith is a great quarterback too. The 49ers have won a lot of games with whichever quarterback they’ve had in there. They’re a solid football team. We have to defend whoever’s in there.
Q: A lot of people have drawn a parallel from the change to Kaepernick to the change you made years ago from Drew Bledsoe to Tom Brady. Do you see any parallel there?
BELICHICK: I think Coach Harbaugh is an outstanding coach. I think he record and his performance speaks for itself. I’m sure whatever decision he makes is best for the football team. He’s certainly got the experience and the track record. He played the position. He knows as much about the position as anybody does, so I’m sure he’s doing what’s best for his team. That’s what any coach would do – do what’s best for the football team.
Q: What have you seen from Randy Moss on the 49ers?
BELICHICK: I think Randy looks like Randy. He’s the greatest deep ball receiver I think that’s ever played. Nobody runs better patterns, runs the deep part of the field like Randy Moss can. I still see him doing that. And because of his ability to do that, that certainly opens up a lot of other things for him as well. You have to respect his ability to stretch the field and go deep and get behind you. It’s hard to take that away and defend everything else that he can do. He’s an explosive, dynamic player. Probably the smartest receiver I ever coached. I know he absolutely knows what he’s doing and knows what the defense is doing.
Q: He’s distinguished himself here as a blocker, too. Did you see much of that when he was with the Patriots?
BELICHICK: Absolutely. He’s tall. He’s long. He’s got long arms, and he’s able to cover up those defenders. They have a hard time getting around him, getting off him and getting into the play. He was very effective doing that for us.
Q: Can you talk about the challenge that lies ahead for Nate Solder going up against Aldon Smith?
BELICHICK: Sure. Big challenge, but at that position, those guys see them every week. Smith has a good combination of skills. He’s strong. He can power rush. He can rush the edge. He’s quick. He’s got a good up-and-under move. He’s got an outside move. He’s got an inside move. And he can run over those guys. That’s three pretty good pitches right there. It’s hard to block them all. Nate’s a good player in his own right. He’s competed against a lot of good rushers this year and last year.