RELATED: Full replay of Belichick and Brady conference calls* * *
Updated: 5 p.m.
New England coach Bill Belichick is worried more about the Bengals than Patriot Games. Citing "a full plate," Belichick chose to address his foe's offense and defense instead of the distractions caused by the NFL's fine for video spying during a conference call of Cincinnati media.
His quarterback, Tom Brady, repeated the New England Inc. company line a few hours later, reciting from the NFL Record and Fact Book that the 111 turnovers the Bengals have generated from 2004-2006 lead the NFL.
And their nine in 2007 is only one off the pace set by Dallas and Detroit.
"The way their defense turns the ball over and how they can score from anywhere on the field," Belichick said Wednesday of his list of fears. "We know the emotion they play with and how it is going to be on a Monday night. We'll have our hands full."
In classic Belichick, he sounded like a 1-2 coach instead of the 3-0 coach with the league's No. 1 rated offense and defense.
"We haven't really played a team like Cincinnati yet. They can really take the ball from you," Belichick said. "They have a different kind of game than what we've seen."
Belichick has the NFL's highest-rated passer in Tom Brady, but he had high praise for the Bengals' Carson Palmer after coaching him this past February to the Pro Bowl MVP trophy in Hawaii.
"He deserved it," said Belichick, who was happy Palmer got it after he missed last year's game with the knee injury. "Just to be able to see him up close and work with him on a daily basis, I've got a real appreciation for Carson and his preparation."
Belichick said he was not only impressed with Palmer's ability to read defenses, his field vision, touch and long ball, but also his attention to detail. Such as exploiting leverage in coverage.
"He's a very talented guy; that's no secret," Belichick said. "But he's got the intangibles."
Brady's 141.8 passer rating dwarfs Palmer's 97.3, but he says he's not in the same league throwing the ball as Palmer and Peyton Manning.
In fact, Brady says if you're building a franchise you'd start with Palmer "because of the way he carries himself ... and what he does for that team."
Brady hasn't spent much time around his fellow Pro Bowl Californian and the two couldn't be any more different. While Brady dates supermodels in high-profile celebrity, the married Palmer dates his unassuming stardom with a beard scruffier than three days.
But like everyone else, Brady has as much respect for Palmer the person as Palmer the player. Brady's backup, Matt Cassel, quarterbacked at USC with Palmer.
"I get a lot of Carson stories from Matt. How he's great as a teammate," Brady said. "I'm excited to watch him in person. ... I'm glad I'm not playing defense."
Brady also watches Palmer on tape.
"I (watch for) technique," Brady said. "He's a big strong guy. He throws a great spiral. No matter what the weather is ... he squeezes it in places where very few players in this league can put it. He always gives that team a chance to win."