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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

Posted Jan 6, 2013

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Sunday, January 6, 2013.

BB: We’re full speed ahead here on Houston. It really gives us a little bit of a jump on the situation so we can spend today and really every day now going forward totally focusing our attention on them. Obviously they had a terrific year and a big win yesterday against Cincinnati. We’re pretty familiar with them because we played them a month ago but we still have to go through the whole process again of just going back over it. We played them back in December; we did a thorough job on all that. That’s where we’re at.

Q: Does the fact that you got to play them earlier and executed as well as you did give you any advantage in your preparation this time?

BB: No, as we all know, I think when you play a team twice during the season, the games are totally different – they never go the same way. We’ll be able to certainly look at some of the matchups individually, guys that faced each in the game. As far as plays and calls and things like that matching up, I’m sure they’ll have some new wrinkles, I’m sure we’ll have some too. It will be totally different.

Q: How much time were you able to put into Houston last week?

BB: I don’t know what the exact timeline would be but I’d we’re definitely ahead. We spent a significant amount of time on them last week. It was the first game, we would know by Saturday night whether they were the next opponent or not, we wouldn’t need to look past that if they won.

Q: Looking at some of the differences in personnel on their side from when you played them a month ago – Garrett Graham, Brooks Reed, maybe a change at middle linebacker, Derek Newton at right tackle. Can you address those changes and what those players mean for them?

BB: And [Alan] Ball in the kicking game. We worked on all those guys other than Reed, we were pretty sure that Reed wasn’t going to get in the game but all the rest of them we prepared for. The ones that were able to play played and the others didn’t. It’s kind of the same thing this time. They have a couple guys that are out, but they added a couple new players as well so we have to be ready for all of them.

Q: Did you see anything from them yesterday that was different from what they’ve been doing or are they pretty consistent?

BB: I think they had a couple pieces that were specific for Cincinnati, not revolutionary but they geared more to their coverage of [A.J.] Green and things like that, formation, Cincinnati stuff. We have to be ready for all the things that they do. The percentages, what they’ll try to feature against us. We just need a week of preparation and take from the Cincinnati game what we can. There are some good examples of things we can learn that game but ultimately our game, our matchups are different that theirs and will be different from the first game. Certainly a good game to watch is the most recent one. As we pointed out before with some of the players like [Brooks] Reed and [Alan] Ball, guys like that, [Derek] Newton, there are guys that we didn’t face last time.

Q: It seems like Jonathan Joseph is back to full health and playing well. Have you noticed that as well?

BB: He’s a good player and we’ve seen that all year. They usually match him on the other team’s best receiver so we always see him matched up against good players. He does a good job for them and[Kareem] Jackson has too. [Brandon] Harris, [Alan] Ball they’ve played very well against Cincinnati, held them to whatever it was, 50 yards in the first half, 200 yards total or something like that. He’s good but they have a lot of good players on defense; well coached.

Q: Some of us in the media have referenced 2010 when you beat the Jets in the regular season and then lost in the playoffs. Is that something that’s applicable now or does that not apply?

BB: I think there’s certainly a lesson there about the game that we play now doesn’t have much to do with the game we played before. It’s another example of that. We’ve talked about that many, many times here, before and after the 2010 season. I don’t think it’s anything that wasn’t mentioned until that situation occurred but it’s an example we can point out. We talked about that many times before, how other games don’t have anything to do with this game. It stands on its own. That is and always will be the case, but it’s an example to point out of how little relevance the previous game with the same team really does have.

Q: Looking at J.J. Watt and what the Texans did on Sunday to try to get him one-on-one matchups, did that look different than what they did earlier this season?

BB: No, I don’t think so, no. Depending on what front they’re in they use certain line rules, they look pretty consistent. They run games so where he lines up isn’t necessarily where he’s going to end up after the ball is snapped which is also pretty consistent with what they’ve done all year. He’s a great player, don’t get me wrong. He’s made more big plays than probably anybody defensively this year in the league. But [Antonio] Smith, [Brooks] Reed, [Connor] Barwin, [Whitney] Mercilus, they have a lot of other good players too. Watt is a focal point on that defense no question, but you can’t ignore the other guys either, they’re all part of the problem.

Q: Arian Foster has been over 100 yards in every playoff game he’s played which has allowed them to hold the ball. How big of a concern is that on Sunday?

BB: I think that’s, again a big focal point in terms of their offense. Not only the yards that he gains but how the running game controls the game for them, how it sets up their play-action passes, how it puts them in third-and-short situations. There’s no question that he’s the key guy for Houston and their offense but his production also complements the other players as well and the other parts of the game. We’re definitely going to have to do a good job on him. Again, yesterday I thought he made a decent amount of yardage breaking tackles and making the defender miss a tackle in the hole or that kind of thing. He’s playing behind three Pro Bowl guys on the offensive line with [Chris] Myers, [Wade] Smith and [Duane] Brown. I think he also does a good job of making yards on his own and he’s got good blockers in front of him. There are a number of problems they present offensively: the quarterback, the tight ends, big receivers, a great receiver in [Andre] Johnson, strong running game, good offensive line, they’re well coached – they’re very good in all those areas.

Q: How does Garrett Graham being back affect their use of Owen Daniels and James Casey in the fullback/tight end position?

BB: I think one thing is it gives them the opportunity to put all three of them on the field at once. That’s something they really weren’t able to do in our game. The difference between Graham and Casey –Daniels is out there most of the time – but Graham and Casey, they’re both good players and they complement each other too. They can have all of them out of there together or they can pick one or the other and use their strengths. Graham lines up a little more on the line of scrimmage, but not exclusively and Casey a little more in the backfield, but not exclusively. It gives them more weapons and they’re able to change up some of their looks or change up their personnel groupings and get them all out there together. They’re all good players so it’s a different matchup, one we prepared for in our first game, we just didn’t get it.

Q: What makes Duane Brown one of the better left tackles in the league in your opinion?

BB: I’d say everything. I think he’s really a solid player all the way around. Very athletic, does a good job in the passing game handling speed rushes and counter rushes and things like that. He’s got good quickness and is athletic to get up on the second level to make those cutoff blocks on runs away from him. He has quickness to mirror and sustain some of the lighter and quicker defensive ends out there in space, both in the running game and the passing game. He’s a big guy, he’s strong, he has good lower body strength, so he can anchor against the power rush and get movement at the point of attack in the running game. They kind of like to run behind him and [Wade] Smith over there, although they make a lot of yards cutting back behind them too, it’s not like they just do one thing. He’s good at the point of attack, he’s good on the backside, very good in pass protection, handles the speed rush, handles the power rush, and doesn’t look like he makes many mistakes out there. He’s a powerful guy that’s athletic and durable – he’s out there a lot. He’s impressive, very impressive.