Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


49ers-Patriots: Bill Belichick respects Kyle Shanahan’s “great offensive mind,” Niners’ defense

Oct 19, 2020 at 2:00 PM--


Kyle Shanahan has Bill Belichick's respect. The New England Patriots coach respects his San Francisco 49ers counterpart so much that he was willing to send quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, once seen as Tom Brady's heir apparent, to the 49ers in 2017.

Belichick last faced a Shanahan offense in Super Bowl LI. He'll see it again on Sunday when the 49ers travel to Foxborough to play the Patriots.

"Kyle's got a great offensive mind," Belichick told 49ers reporters via a conference call on Monday. "He really knows how to attack and stress a defense, and put the defense in a lot of compromising positions with his formations and play-calling, and most importantly, a high level of execution that his teams have always shown running the ball, throwing the ball, playing situation football. They're very difficult to prepare for.

"He's an outstanding coach, and I think he's shown pretty quickly in San Francisco how good he is and how quickly he can put a great team on the field and take them to the top of the NFC."

It's not just Shanahan's offense that Belichick respects. He knows facing Robert Saleh's defense presents its own unique challenges.

"Their whole defense, they play hard," Belichick said. "They're aggressive. They take advantage of mistakes. They force a lot of mistakes, and they're there to capitalize on them quickly with their aggressiveness and instinctiveness.

"They're very well-coached. They've got good depth, good speed. They're a good tackling team. They mix it up, disguise, and try to make some of the different things all look the same. It's hard to read some of them before the snap. They do a good job."

The 49ers and Patriots kick off at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 1:25 p.m. PT (4:25 p.m. ET).





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