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Thu., Aug. 25, 2016 12:00 AM to 11:55 AM EDT
Thu., Aug. 25, 2016 11:55 AM to 2:00 PM EDT
Thu., Aug. 25, 2016 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript
Q: How much do you draw upon those wins against common opponents in terms of formulating what you want to do? How impressive was that when you saw that on film?
BB: It was good, but they've played well every week. They had Detroit beat, they played very competitively against Green Bay last week, had a chance to beat Miami, field goal at the end of the game there. They came really close on that one. They do a good job.
Q: Are tomorrow and Saturday like a longer version of your regular Saturday?
BB: We'll treat Saturday as Saturday and tomorrow is like a transition day for us. We'll be there, we're going to do some things and just try to get re-acclimated to our normal body schedule. Try to get back on a Friday schedule if you would, so that Saturday can be a normal Saturday for us.
Q: The past few years your record in the week before and after the bye week has been exceptional. What is it about the bye week that brings out your best football?
BB: I don't know. I just try to take it one week at a time. I couldn't even tell you who we played last year at the bye week; I don't even remember. I don't really think that has that much bearing to it. It's just about our preparation for this particular week and going out there and performing.
Q: Is there a little bit more pressure going into the bye week knowing you have all that time off to think about the result?
BB: We try to prepare and win every week, bye week or no bye week. I don't think that has any bearing on it.
Q: They have an ‘X' factor in their kicking game with their kicker Greg Zuerlein. Have you been impressed with him?
BB: Oh absolutely. Big leg. [John] Hekker too, both of them. They have two big legs, both the punter and kicker. They can change field positions. Zuerlein has had a lot of touchbacks and obviously has great range on field goals. He's been impressive. They have good, strong legs in their specialists.
Q: A lot of things that have changed with St. Louis but one guy who seems to keep getting it done is Steven Jackson. Looking back to the draft, I know you grabbed Corey Dillon before the draft started, but it seemed that running back was a position of interest that offseason. Do you remember him being on your radar?
BB: Oh yeah, absolutely. I actually went out to Las Vegas and met with Steven out there; he's from Las Vegas. I went out there and met with him and spent pretty much a whole day with him there. He's a very impressive individual. Obviously a big, strong kid that runs well, that catches the ball very well, very good in the passing game; I think he's probably a little underrated in that area. Good in blitz pickup, smart guy, he's really had an outstanding career. He definitely was a guy that we were very much interested in. As I said, I personally spent quite a bit of time with him.
Q: Is it unusual for you to spend a full day with a guy? I know you only have so many before the draft?
BB: It was kind of one of those things that it just worked out that way. It was easier to go to Vegas than it was to go to Oregon. There have been plenty of guys; some of them we bring in, some of them we go see. It just happened to work out in the schedule that way. He was an impressive guy coming out and he's had obviously an outstanding career.
Q: What does it say about his durability? He's obviously a very physical back, but to be that durable for that length of time.
BB: Yeah, it's impressive. It's real impressive. He's had 1,000 yards it seems like every year, right? Or whatever it is, close to it. But he dishes it out. I think he probably gives out as much as he takes. It's not like that with all backs, but he has the quickness to be elusive on the second level, avoid guys and he's also got the power to put his shoulder down and run through guys. He's a hard guy to tackle. As I said, his production in the passing game is very good too. Not just screens, but actual route running, going out there, getting open, beating linebackers and he's a great target for the quarterback to throw to. He's not a little 5-8 guy you're trying to find out there; he's a big, tall, strong guy that has a lot of range and a big catch radius and good hands.
Q: What are some of the challenges of going to London?
BB: I'd say just the time change, just getting our body clocks reset for Saturday and obviously Sunday and treat it as a 4:00 game, 5:00 game, whatever it is, but as a late afternoon game, which we've had plenty of experience with that, [so] just getting re-acclimated to that. Whatever the conditions are out there, I doubt they'll be too much different from what we have here, but whatever it is, it is and we'll get used to that.
Q: Once you start playing, is there really any difference?
BB: I'd say that the differences are possibly the field depending on what kind of condition that's in. it's a different kind of crowd, obviously. It's not really a football crowd.
Q: What's the crowd like?
BB: It's random. There's some random cheering out there and the wave or whatever, things like that that if you're not really paying attention sometimes – like if I'm on the bench talking to somebody and you hear the crowd go crazy, you think something has happened, but that's their cheer or their chant or whatever it is. There are some different dynamics like that. Again, the most important thing is just our focus on the Rams and what comes up situationally within the game.
Q: Since Danny Amendola went down, have you seen them just plug a guy in and let him be what Amendola was or have they adjusted without him?
BB: I think they've done a good job of spreading the ball around. They really use everybody; they use all their receivers. It looks like they have a lot of confidence in all of them: [Austin] Pettis, [Chris] Givens, [Steve] Smith certainly, [Lance] Kendricks, the backs, [Brandon] Gibson, all of them. They work the ball around pretty good. I don't think that they're just locked into one guy, although Amendola is clearly a go-to guy for them. But I'd say since then, it looks like they've done a good job of spreading the ball around. Kind of similar to last week really: when [Santonio] Holmes went out, they kind of balanced the offense out for the Jets. I'd say it's a little bit of the same thing for the Rams. They seem to be really more balanced now and less of one go-to guy.
Q: They've had some explosive pass plays recently, especially Chris Givens.
BB: Yeah, sure. Givens has really made some big plays for them. He hasn't had that many opportunities but the ones he's had, he's hit big on. They've also used him some in the return game so that's something…they've used several different returners, so I'm not exactly sure who we'll see but we have a lot of respect for him. He's definitely given them an element of big plays. As I said, we know [Lance] Kendricks can get down the field and [Sam] Bradford does a good job of using all his receivers. Jackson, [Daryl] Richardson obviously, those guys have hit some big plays too. I think they have an explosive team and it's a well balanced team. Probably their balance is a little better now without [Danny] Amendola, although I'm sure they miss his play-making skills; I'm not saying that, but it seems like the ball now has gotten spread evenly around to pretty much everybody – tight ends, backs and receivers.
Q: Last time you guys went to London, you were sitting like this and there were a lot of British voices questioning you about what you know about English sports. Have you had to brush up on your English Premier League standings?
BB: I'm still a little behind on that, a little rusty on that. I don't know too much about that league and the cricket league.
Q: With the Rams going out there early and working out at Arsenal which is owned by Stan Kroenke, did John Henry ever offer up Liverpool and their stadium to you guys in case you wanted to get out there early?
BB: I'm really not sure what the answer to that question is. The people who had handle our travel and then our operations people, security people, of course they've worked with the various contacts at the other end. In all honesty, I don't really get involved in a lot of that. I just try to coach the team and let the people who handle the travel and the operations and the security and all that, they know what we want and let them do their jobs. I don't even know.
Q: Was there a value of going ahead like the Rams did?
BB: We talked about that. There's probably an advantage to doing that. The drawback is moving all your stuff out there. We felt like we had a good week here of all our film, all our treatment, all our familiarity we have with what we're doing. We felt like we could get a good week of preparation in at this end and then make the travel adjustment on Friday and then have a normal Saturday and Sunday out there. I'm sure probably either one could work. That was our preference but we could have gone the other way and still been ready to play. We did what we thought was best, but as I said, there are a lot of different ways to do it.
Q: What do you think about this idea of exporting football and playing in London?
BB: Wherever they schedule them, we play them.
Q: But what do you think of the idea?
BB: Wherever they schedule them, we play them. Our job is just to get ready to play; we don't control the schedule or the opponents or anything else. When the game is on the schedule, whatever time it is, whoever we play, that's who we get ready for and that's who we play.
Q: The idea of exporting the game, you have no opinion on that?
BB: I'm really just trying to coach our team. Talk to all the other people that have more to do with it than I did. I'm just trying to coach a team.
Q: With the understanding that every player on the team has a role and you want to make sure they do that each week, is there anything specific you hope to get out of the rookies each season because of the age and youthful energy? Is there anything that you want to see out of them over the course of each season?
BB: I think it's more specific to each individual player. I think each player's situation is different. His personal situation and then a lot of times he's impacted by the players around him or the players at his position. Either what he's asked to do or what his opportunities are, that kind of thing. Certainly there's a function of both, but I think they're also related to a point. So, I think each player's individual role and expectations for that player are specific to that player, regardless of what year the guy is or how much experience he has or doesn't have. You go to that player and you talk to him at different points in the spring, in training camp, in the season, maybe at different points during the season, ‘Here's what we want you to do. Here's what you're doing well. Here's what you're not doing so well. This is what you need to work on.' Whatever it is, whatever constructive coaching you can give the player, you give him, relative to his performance and also relative to his role. That covers really everything: training and preparation and performance and position, work habits, attitude, etcetera, all those things. Whatever applies, that's what you talk to him about. I think there are different points in the season where that's a scheduled thing and then there are other points during the season where it's really kind of a weekly thing, where you talk to him week to week about: ‘For the St. Louis game, this is what you need to do.' Maybe it was different last week or the week before. Maybe it's going to be different next week, but you really try to lay it out and define it for them. I understand what the question is about the rookies – it applies to the rookies, but I think it applies to everybody too. I don't think it's just specific to them. I think you try to do that with everybody on your team, including your practice squad players and those guys too because they're still, even though they're not active, they could be active and they do have an important role on the team relative to the team's preparations. So, what you want them to do, how you want them to do it, how they're improving, whether they're leveling off or whatever it happens to be, I think you want to stay on top of that. It's a constant thing for everybody. Read