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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

Posted Sep 20, 2011

Read what Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had to say as he addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, September 20, 2011.

BB: Alright, we're turning the page here on San Diego and we're onto Buffalo. They've had two real good wins, really dominated the Kansas City game in all three phases of the game and then last week they spotted Oakland a big lead and came back and beat them with a great second half. It was a back and forth game too. They showed a lot of good play on both sides of the ball as a total team. The team's playing aggressively. They can move the ball. They can play good defense. They're good in the kicking game. They're playing with a lot of energy, hustling around. I'm sure there will be plenty of energy in the stadium this weekend when we go up there, so another tough division game on the road. We need a good week of preparation to deal with them. They're a hard team to prepare for. There are a lot of skill players offensively that are tough to match up against.  

Q: A lot of times when you play the Bills based on your past success and often their record, you get the question about how you get your team ready to play a team like that. Given that they're 2-0 is it safe to say that it's not a worry this year?  

BB: Yeah, see I don't think it's ever a worry. We played them here last year in the first game and they certainly gave us all we could handle, so I know we have a lot of respect for Buffalo and the way they play it's always competitive against them and they've done nothing but get better since early in the season last year. They have a good experienced quarterback, a good running back, good receivers and tight ends. The offensive line's improved. They added [Marcell] Dareus on defense. He's a real strong player next to [Kyle] Williams. It's hard to concentrate on one of those guys without turning the other guy loose, you know [Shawne] Merriman and [Chris] Kelsay on the edge. Corners, secondary is playing well. They have a lot of good players. They're good in the kicking game and a great punter-kicker - [Brian] Moorman can change field position as well as anyone in the league, so we've got our hands full this week.  

Q: Along the lines of the idea of shifting field position, where do things stand with your punting situation and do you think you may have to address that with a new player for this game?  

BB: We're still working our way through some of those questions today and it may take longer than that so I don't know. It's possible.  

Q: If you do have to stick in a new punter, what are the adjustments?  

BB: There are plenty of things that go into the punting position. It's not like standing out on the driving range, teeing it up and hitting it as far as you can. Situation punting is probably over half the game in punting, whether it's directional punting, rushes, plus fifty, end of the game or end of half-type situations. One deep, two deep, overload rushes, I mean you can just keep going. There are a million things that the punter has to deal with - the punter, then whole punt team, personal protector, snapper, [things] that everyone has to deal with. There's certainly a lot more to it than just catching the ball and kicking it as far as you can, so that's something we work on every week and it changes every week. Every team we play is different and then you always have to deal with the conditions and the situation within the game so there's plenty of stuff going on there.  

Q: When the team is running a no-huddle offense effectively and opposing defenders go down with injuries multiple times. It could be perceived as a tactic to slow down the offense. How do you view that aspect of the game?  

BB: Well it's nothing we have control over so we just try to do what we can do and execute the plays when we get an opportunity to execute them the best that we can. The decisions made by other people are their decisions.  

Q: How disrupting can that be to the flow of the offense when you're trying to establish a tempo like that?  

BB: Well I think we all see that the way the game is now there are different breaks in the game at all points in time. You can have the momentum or positive things going on in your favor and we stop and review a play or review a score or a play gets challenged or a player gets injured or you know or a beach ball rolls onto the field or it could be a dog runs out there. It could be anything - streakers. Things happen. That's just part of being focused and playing through the situation, whatever it is that comes up, things you can't control. Plays are going to get reviewed. Plays are going to get reviewed; plays are going to get stopped. Momentum and the tempo is going to change. You have to be able to deal with it on both sides of the ball, for it or against it, on the road and at home. It's just part of the game. I think if you want to address that whole issue then that's something that needs to go to the people who make the rules.  

Q: How would you assess Devin McCourty's performance so far?  

BB: I think Devin's done a lot of good things for us. He's really probably played as well as anybody we've had on defense. As always there are plays we'd all like to have back and do better on and all that, so Devin's very competitive. He sets very high goals and standards for himself. I'm sure he feels that way too. He's certainly one of our best players.  

Q: McCourty has been thrown at frequently it seems. What do you think the reason for that is?  

BB: Yeah I don't know. You'd have to talk to the other teams that are calling the plays or the quarterbacks throwing the ball. We don't have any control over that. Everybody's out there you know, the way we see it, everybody's at the point of attack on every play. Everybody has a job to do whatever it happens to be - run or pass or various responsibilities based on the formations and the plays so whatever those are, we try to do them within the structure of the defensive play on that particular snap. Where the ball ends up and what the offense decides to do with it, defensively, you never have any control over that. It's the offense's decision.

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