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Bill Belichick: Patriots preparing for same Dolphins offense, whether Tua or Teddy

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Mike Florio and Chris Simms dissect what Teddy Bridgewater is capable of as the starter entering Week 17 and how he could potentially set the Dolphins up in a big way.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick says his defense is preparing for the same offense it will face on Sunday, regardless of Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion making Teddy Bridgewater the Dolphins’ starting quarterback.

Belichick said Dolphins wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill can threaten a defense “as much as anybody in the league” and that he doesn’t expect the Dolphins’ approach to change with Bridgewater.

“You can’t go into a game with two different offenses,” Belichick said. “It’s impossible. One’s right-handed, one’s left-handed, that definitely affects some things right there, but we could be looking at a different quarterback, just like we were in Arizona [when Kyler Murray was injured against the Patriots], in the first series of a game. So you have to be ready for who you expect to play, but that can change.”

Belichick said he doesn’t see Bridgewater as a backup.

“I’ve always had a ton of respect for Teddy,” Belichick said. “He presents a lot of the same problems that Tua does.”

Bridgewater has started one game this season and played in parts of three others, and Belichick said the offense remains the same.

“It’s a high percentage of the offense. I’m sure there are things they do specifically for one guy or the other, but generally speaking it’s the offense,” Belichick said. “They can run their offense. There’s no doubt about it, it’s still the same.”

Belichick needs his team to play its best game: If the Patriots lose on Sunday, they’re mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. If they win on Sunday, they’re a Week 18 win away from clinching a playoff berth.