Belichick not surprised Damien Williams playing well


New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Wednesday spent a lot of time heaping praise on the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of Sunday's matchup in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium.

Belichick is aware of the challenges in facing the potent Chiefs' offense, which includes three All-Pros in quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Belichick said the Chiefs' skill players are all "really good," and complimented Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, whom Belichick said has done a "great job" of assimilating outside ideas into the Chiefs' offense.

Belichick then took a moment to compliment Chiefs running back Damien Williams, a player Belichick knows well after the team hosted Williams on a free-agent visit in 2017 and from divisional games against the Miami Dolphins.

"He's a good football player," Belichick said. "Smart, versatile, can do a lot of different things -- run the ball and catch, pass protect. We had a good visit with him. He was a good guy to bring in and visit, and get to know."

Williams eventually re-signed with the Dolphins before joining the Chiefs in March 2018. He became the starter after the Chiefs released Kareem Hunt in late November when video surfaced of Hunt assaulting a woman. Hunt owned the Patriots in two previous career games, totaling 228 yards rushing and a touchdown and 203 yards receiving and three scores.

Williams finished the 2018 regular season with more than 400 total yards and six touchdowns. Williams also comes off a playoff game where he totaled 129 yards rushing and a score in the Chiefs' blowout win over the Colts in the Divisional Round.

Now, the fifth-year running back has a chance to hurt the Patriots two seasons removed from a free-agent visit.

"Things didn't really work out on that at that time, but not surprised to see him doing well at all," Belichick said.

Meanwhile, the last time the Patriots played the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium resulted in a 41-14 beatdown during the 2014 season. Since that loss, however, the Patriots have gone 2-1 against the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium, including a playoff win in 2016.

Belichick quickly pointed out the obvious when asked if the last trip to Arrowhead Stadium provided extra motivation ahead of Sunday's game against the Chiefs.

"Yeah, I don't think that game has anything to do with this one," he said. "We're going to get ready for Sunday."

Belichick is correct, of course, as numerous notable players from the Chiefs' 2014 squad are no longer on the roster, including quarterback Alex Smith, running back Jamaal Charles and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, among others.