Bill Belichick: Thomas Morstead about as good a punter as the league’s ever seen

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s press conferences and conference calls are often a combination of terse answers about topics he prefers not to talk about and expansive answers about topics that tickle his fancy.

Saints punter Thomas Morstead appears to fall into the latter category. In his introductory remarks at Wednesday’s press conference with Patriots media, Belichick called Morstead “about as good of a punter as this league has ever seen” before expanding on what he finds so appealing about Morstead and how he prepares the team to face him when he spoke to New Orleans media on a conference call.

“Everything,” Belichick said in comments distributed by the team. “I mean, he’s got great leg strength, placement, technique. He’s a good situational punter, handles the rush well, good directional punter, good plus-50 punter, can change field position. I mean, he’s really good, really good. … Yeah, you take the jugs machine, crank it up on high and shoot the ball up 55 to 70 yards downfield a yard from the sideline, like he does most of the time. You know, not many guys that can punt the ball like him. Again, it’s not just his distance but it’s placement, accuracy. I mean, his plus-50 punts are like from the minus-40. He’s just different because of his strength and power and control.”

Morstead isn’t the first punter to draw raves from Belichick. Johnny Hekker got a lot of love before the Patriots and Rams squared off last season and Belichick then got to watch him do his stuff eight times during a 26-10 New England win. Belichick didn’t say so during either media session, but he’d surely like the same chance to watch Morstead at work this Sunday.