That’s what we’re here for every day," Belichick said Wednesday when asked about the importance of depth and the process of building it. "Everybody that’s here — the players on the active roster, the players on the practice squad, even players in training camp that aren’t here — they’ve all been coached, they’ve worked, they’ve prepared and some of them get a chance to play, some of them don’t and then over the course of the year, sometimes that changes. Everybody here is working on a daily basis trying to get better. "Who knows exactly how the wheel is going to spin, who is going to be where, but we all have to prepare for that.
We took a bunch of key guys falling down, with Vince [Wilfork] and Mayo and TK (Tommy Kelly) and all the other guys that are banged up," he said. "It’s football and it’s all expected — one guy down and another guy comes up. I feel like everybody that’s here is going to help us win; that’s why they are here. As long as we communicate and execute the game-plan, we’ll be fine.
The biggest thing is [Hightower] knows the defense, and we expect him to,” safety Devin McCourty said. “I don’t even look at him like a rookie anymore. When he’s on the field, you talk to him just like he’s a veteran linebacker out there. He really has, I think, turned into a veteran on this defense.
I can’t speak for (Jerod) Mayo and Spikes, but from my standpoint, I’ve just got to do what I was coached,” Hightower said. “I made one mistake and tried to correct it on different techniques and things that didn’t work that I should have known wouldn’t work. But after talking to (linebackers) coach (Pepper) Johnson and looking up to Mayo and Spikes, them talking to me on the sideline and all through this week, they’ve been in my corner. “I definitely feel like this week was a big improvement for me. Whenever I have those two guys and Pepper Johnson in my corner, I can only go up. Those guys have really helped me a lot this week.
I definitely feel honored to be able to wear this number,” Hightower said. “I haven’t spoken to Tedy yet about it, but I’ve read that he didn’t want it to be retired and he hoped another linebacker would come in and be able to wear this number and be able to play as well. Hopefully I’ll be able to live up to the hype of that.
Not gonna lie, I’m excited to see how Hightower wears 54. Anyone who reads this blog is probably not surprised by this.