Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest
By JENNIFER HALE  |  Last updated 10/10/13
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick is zoned in on finding a victory this Sunday - intent on beating Saints head coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who worked under Belichick from 2000-2003 as a linebackers coach for the Pats, then went to Oakland as the Raiders defensive coordinator. Ryan's Black and Gold defense in New Orleans is producing better results than most fans hoped for in his first season, and Belichick says he's happy for Ryan's success. "Just watching his defenses play, they're always very well prepared. They're a good situational team. They do things weekly that attack the specific opponent that they're playing, keep you off balance and present problems that hit at your weaknesses," Belichick said. "Rob is a smart guy that really is a very dedicated coach. He works hard at football, studies football, and has a good understanding of what other people are doing. He installs a solid confidence within his players because he's always prepared." Belichick says part of Ryan's success is the ability to transfer that preparedness over to his players. "He knows what to do, and I think that carries over to the people he works withat least it did here," Belichick said. "I really enjoyed having Rob on the staff here. He contributed a lot to us, and he had the opportunity to move up as a coordinator. I couldn't do that at that time, so I was happy for him to have that opportunity, and he has obviously done well with it. He's an excellent coach." Of course, the Patriots coaching staff is hoping they'll be the more fruitful gridiron architects Sunday. Belichick is looking for redemption after his Patriots fell to the Cincinnati Bengals last week - only scoring 6 points on 2 field goals. It was the first time since September 2009 that the Patriots and Tom Brady failed to score an offensive touchdown. The Patriots record in games played after a loss may be of particular interest to Who Dat fans this week. Since 2003, the Pats have gone 30-4 in games played after a loss. That means the bad news for the Saints is only four times in the last 10 years has New England lost back-to-back games. The good news for the Black and Gold: two of the four teams that defeated the Pats after a loss went on to win the Super Bowl that season: the 2012 Baltimore Ravens and the 2011 New York Giants. Saints tight end Benjamin Watson won a ring with the Patriots, and offers some insight into what makes this New England team so durable. "It's an emphasis. It something I've always heard from Coach Belichick: 'Good teams win at home and great teams win on the road,'" Watson said. "You have to win at home. You look at any good team that's ever won the Super Bowl, every one that's gone to the playoffs. They all play very well at home. You look at this team over the past, they've played well at home. It's very tough to win on the road in this league, so you've got to get those games at home. It's definitely an emphasis in New England to be good at home." Belichick knows in order for the Patriots to triumph Sunday in Gillette Stadium, they'll need to draft some sort of solution to the so far unanswered question of how to contain Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. "Certainly, Jimmy Graham is as good as anybody we've seen all year or will see in the passing game." Belichick said. "He is very athletic. He has great athletic ability down the field to come up with the ball. He is fast and quick and is a hard guy to match up to no matter who you put on him. If you put size on him, it's hard to match up to his speed and quickness. If you put speed and quickness on him, it is hard to match up to his size. Players at that position that are at tight end that are big and can run, they're hard, defensively, to match up to. That has been the case through the years at that position." If the Patriots indeed defeat the Saints and log a "W" Sunday - Belichick will pass former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Knoll and move into fifth place in all-time NFL wins with 210 career victories.
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