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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript
Q: You guys ran 85 plays yesterday. I'm sure you have charts of all your games. Is that a high for an offense?
Q: Is that the highest?
BB: No, I've broken down games with over 100.
Q: For one offense?
BB: Defensively looking at the other team, yeah. But whatever it is, it is. I think points are more important than plays.
Q: When you're running the no-huddle, does Tom Brady make any more or less checks at the line than he would if you were huddling?
BB: I'd say it's probably about the same.
Q: I didn't know if it was because you already knew what type of personnel they would have on the field and you called the play from the sideline to dictate the matchups you wanted. But you're saying it's all the same?
BB: I'm saying whatever play we call, whether we huddled or didn't huddle, would have the same components to it. So if it were to be changed, whether we came out of the huddle or whether we didn't come out of the huddle, whatever the reasons were would be the same reasons; it would be the same process. If we didn't want to run a certain play against a certain look, it wouldn't matter whether we did or didn't huddle; we still wouldn't want to run that against that look. Or if there was a play that we did want to run against a certain look and we got that look, then we would change that play whether we huddled or we didn't huddle, if that makes any sense to you.
Q: Stevan Ridley's issues with dropping the ball a little bit, are they preventable? There are some fumbles that somebody just crushes with their helmet and it drops out. Are you seeing any technique issues?
BB: We work on ball security with every player who handles the ball, every week, every day. That includes everybody who touches the ball: center, quarterback, running backs, receivers, punters, kickers, snappers, returners, defenders when they get it, if they happen to get it on a turnover. We talk and work on ball security every day with everybody.
Q: Specific to him though?
BB: Specific to everybody. Everybody who handles it, it's important: all of them. It's the highest priority with everybody.
Q: It seemed like that affected his playing time last postseason. How do you handle that with him going forward?
BB: There's nothing more important than possession of the ball. We can't afford to lose it; it's just as simple as that.
Q: How do you prepare for Seattle? Have you worked on the logistics of when you'll fly out?
BB: Probably do what we usually do: go Friday after practice.
Q: Any thoughts on Kevin Faulk announcing his retirement tomorrow?
BB: We'll talk about it tomorrow.
Q: It seemed like you guys did a good job early in the game blitzing and pressuring Peyton Manning a little bit more. It seems like you've blitzed throughout the season so far. Is that something you saw or has it been the same pattern in terms of number of blitzes?
BB: I don't think our percentages were too much different than what they've been. I'd have to check, but generally speaking, I'd say it's probably about the same, the same area. We were able to hit them a few times and there were a few times that we weren't that close to him. He's a tough guy to get to because they do a good job. They mix up the protections and have a good offensive line and he gets the ball out pretty quick. You really need good coverage, good pass rush, it really has to all tie in together or just get a guy to come free for some reason, either a missed assignment or get a guy coming through where they just don't have enough guys in that part of the protection. As far as just rushing him and covering the receivers and all that, it really has to be tied together. We had a few of those and then we had some where he had time to throw and then the receivers separated from the coverage and he hit them.
Q: After Wes Welker's performance yesterday, he took the opportunity to say that he felt a little vindicated in relation to earlier in the year. He said it with a wink and a smile. Do you take an exception to him playfully taking a jab at you or the situation?
BB: No, I didn't really see the comment.
Q: He said jokingly that –
BB: You should ask him about it then, what he meant by it. I don't know.
Q: Running the no-huddle offense so much yesterday, is that something you thought would be effective against Denver in particular or is it something that you can use going forward against other teams?
BB: That's something that we talk about every week. Depending on our team and the circumstances of the game and then the opponent and what they do and so forth, that's something we always discuss. Obviously we have it. Sometimes we use it more than others, it's really a function of whether we feel it gives us an advantage relative to doing it in another way, which method we want to be in, just like what plays we want to call. There's a conversation about what plays are run and there's also a conversation about how to run them – to run them in a no-huddle manner or to not to do that. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so you just have to decide. If you feel like you're gaining an advantage by doing something one way, then we do it that way. If we don't, then we do it differently. But that's all done week to week. Sometimes within a game, you might do more or less than you had planned, just like anything else. You might plan on running inside and you get in the game and you run outside. Or you might feel like playing man coverage and then you get in the game and feel like you end up playing more zone coverage. Some of that is game time adjustments: you see what they're doing or how things are going or whatever. Each week, we make those decisions. Game plan wise going into the game, we have usually a couple options. Sometimes it changes during the game, but it's always talked about going in, in terms of what we feel like gives us the best advantage.
Q: There's a report that Josh McDaniels had talked to Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly about the Oregon offense. Is that something in terms of the pace that you were looking to sprinkle in?
BB: Chip is a great coach and we have a good relationship with Chip. That's Xs and Os and all that. I don't think he really has too much involvement with any of our current games or vice versa.
Q: Last night you talked about having a handful of negative plays. After watching the tape, is it about the same number?
BB: Offensively we had four penalties, we had I think four negative runs, we had four sacks, we fumbled a couple times, we lost one of them, but a couple of times where the ball came out. Defensively we had one run over 10 yards, we had six passes over 10 yards, kickoff return, including the penalties. We had a penalty in the kicking game, we had a penalty where we had a return out past the 30-yard line. I'm not saying any of those were back breaking plays but they were all plays that we'd like to play better, so I'd start with those. That's a handful or two handfuls, whatever it is.
Q: Did you end up with a lot more positive plays for you?
BB: We had the advantage in turnovers. We certainly had a big advantage in rushing yardage and time of possession. We were able to get into the red area more than they were. Both teams were successful in the red area for the most part. We didn't get the one in at the end of the half, which is another thing we could have handled a little bit better. We were just able to get down there a little bit more than they were and convert those into touchdowns, which I think is what we needed to do yesterday. Usually when you play Peyton [Manning] and a team like that you usually don't win with two or three field goals; you have to get the ball in the end zone. There were some good things. We had a couple good kickoff coverage plays, got them on the 10-yard line, inside the 20, whatever it was, converted our scoring opportunities. There were plenty of good things and there are other things we can do better.
Q: The play you just referenced, I think it was a third-and-goal at the end of the half. Is that one where you had such a feverish pace going, you could have slowed it down? Is that what you're referring to?
BB: No, I would just say overall, I could have done a better job with that. The whole situation – the play, the whole thing – it wasn't a great personal highlight for me.
Q: When you looked at the stats, did the third down conversions jump off the page for you?
BB: Well, I think on our end of it, we hit a couple longs, like third-and-12, third-and-17, third-and-10-pluses, which it's hard to make those, but we were able to convert a few of those. That gave us a pretty high percentage, whatever it was. You'd like to think you can make the third-and-one and third-and-twos, but the third-and-17s, those are little bit tougher. Defensively we gave up over 50 percent third down conversions, so that's not really what our goal is. We can do a better job of that offensively. Third down, red area, those two areas, we could have made a couple more plays in those situations. That would have helped us a little bit more yesterday too.