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Transcript: Bill Belichick Conference Call 12/4
Q: How have you seen the run blocking evolve this year, especially in these last two weeks with the increased production on the ground and the consistency of the unit?
BB: Well, I think the run blocking - or, really, you could look at any part of any aspect of any of our games - just relates to that particular game. So, how it went last week and how it will go this week or next week could be two very different things. We'll have a big challenge this week against Miami playing down there, and running the ball against that front, which is a very, very good front and very talented group, is hard. So, the things that we're able to do in one game, sometimes that's because of other circumstances or the way a team's playing us, the way we feel like we can - plays we want to run against them - but each week's its own challenge. So, we had a couple explosive plays yesterday. That made a big difference in the yardage when you can hit a couple of 30 yarders in there. That adds up in a hurry. But, whether that will be able to happen again, we'll have to go out and do it again. So, it was efficient yesterday. We'll have to see if that happens in the future, or maybe we don't run the ball as much. Maybe we throw it in another game. I don't really know.
Q: How important is it for the coaching staff to have clarity on Rob Gronkowski's availability sooner rather than later as it relates to possible NFL discipline so you can put together the best game plan possible?
BB: Well, I'd say on anything that is out of our control, such as injuries that could go down to pregame workouts and so forth, things that are out of our control are out of our control. We'll address the things that we can address.
Q: How did Cameron Fleming's performance look to you after reviewing the tape?
BB: I thought Cam played hard. He was aggressive, had a lot of good plays. As in every game, we all have plays that we'd like to have over again or could do a little bit differently. But, Cam's been a solid player for us for four years, and he's always been ready to step in whenever we've called on him at both tackle spots and sometimes at guard and jumbo tight end and things like that. But, I thought he gave us a solid performance yesterday.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on Gronkowski's late hit after reviewing it on tape?
BB: No, I think Rob addressed it. I don't have anything else to add.
Q: What has helped Eric Lee transition quickly into the Patriots defense so far?
BB: Well, he's done the things that we've asked him to do and he's done them at a pretty good level. I mean, he's only been here a couple weeks, so there's still a lot of things for him to learn and there are finer points on various plays that, when he seems them again, he'll recognize them quicker or react a little bit differently. But, overall, he's done a solid job for us in the things that he's been asked to do. He was asked to do a little more yesterday than he was last week against Miami, so maybe that role will increase, maybe it will stay the same, maybe it will decrease a little bit depending on the game plan and so forth. We'll just have to see how that goes, but the last two weeks, the opportunities he's had, he's given us some good plays and I'm glad we have him.
Q: What do you jet sweeps help bring to your offense?
BB: We have a lot of different plays in our offense. Some plays are all-purpose plays. Some plays are more specific towards a certain defense. Plays will complement each other, so kind of the feeling of if they're stopping one play then they won't be able to stop another play type of thing. There are a lot of different things that go into game planning, and play design and play calling. Josh [McDaniels] and the offensive staff do a great job of that and will continue to do that. Each play has a purpose and has some type of a relationship to other plays, other formations or other things that are in the game plan. Those are things we do weekly based on all of the things that go into the game plan - what we're trying to do, and other plays, and complementary formations and plays, and so forth that we're running. That's really about the same answer to any play in our offense.
Q: Both Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady have expressed frustration at the way in which Rob Gronkowski is officiated. Have there been any discussions between you and the folks in the league office about how Rob can avoid the penalties he's been called for?
BB: Well, no, I'm not going to talk about any of the personal calls I've had with league officials, whether it's Al [Riveron], or Dean [Blandino], or Mike [Pereira], or Carl [Johnson] or whoever it's been through the years. I mean, Rob's been in the league for seven years and Brady has been in the league a lot longer than that.
Q: Is seems like Dwayne Allen has been pretty impactful in the running game the last few weeks. How have you seen his game evolve over the course of the season?
BB: Dwayne's had a very solid role for us all year long. He's played a lot of football, and I'm sure he'll continue to play a lot of football for us. Dwayne works hard. He does what we ask him to do. He tries his best to do it the way that we ask him to do it. Some things are different than the way he was taught to do them in the past, but he's been very open and receptive to trying to do what the team needs him to do on any particular play or situation or technique or whatever it happens to be. So, he's been a great guy to have on the team. He's got a great attitude, he's willing to do anything that we've asked him to do to help the football team, and you can't ask for any more than that.
Q: How would you say the offense performed in the screen game this week?
BB: Well, offensively, I thought we had some productive plays in the game. There were other plays that there's always room for improvement on, so we'll just keep working on everything that we do in the running game, the passing game and all the other type plays that we have and try to keep working on them to get the most out of them.
Q: What does Bernard Reedy bring to the active roster? And, what did the film review show you about Malcom Brown's effort and performance at defensive tackle?
BB: Well, we used Bernard in a couple return situations in the game, so that was his role in this game. We'll see what it is going forward. I'm not sure. That could depend on a lot of things. It's good to have Malcom back. I think this week was - I mean, Malcom works hard. He works hard and he is very attentive and in tune to the game plan. I think after playing last week, this week was just a little bit better for him because of the extra week of timing and repetition and confidence of doing it and doing it at the speed - or, at least in practice, closer to the speed that we're going to see during the game. So, I thought it was another step from where he was when he came back last week. Read