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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

Posted Jan 7, 2013

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Monday, Janaury 7, 2013.

BB: This is kind of like a combination Monday-Tuesday for us. The players will be in tomorrow and that will be kind of like a Wednesday for us. We’re just trying to get our game plan thoughts in order here and be ready for the guys when they come in tomorrow.

Q: What did you think you did well in the first game with the Texans?

BB: There were several things in that game that went our way but I don’t think that’s really that significant at this point. We just have to go back and make sure that we’re well prepared for the things that they do. The plays will match up differently and I’m sure there will be new plays that weren’t in that game. I don’t think you can overanalyze that game. We’re playing a team – we have our team, they have their team and it’s a big picture thing. Every game comes down to some specific plays and matchups but you know never know that’s how it’s going to go at the beginning. You just have to wait and see how it unfolds. We’re just going to focus on our preparation and what we do and what they’ve shown that they’ve done and try to be ready for it all.

Q: I know that in-game adjustments are critical in every game. Does the need for in-game adjustments intensify when you play a team you have played before?

BB: I think they’re really pretty much all the same because you could be playing a team for the first time and there are new things there or when you play them a second time, you anticipate some differences too that maybe you haven’t been working on, maybe it’s something they haven’t shown. But I think you have to be ready for that however it goes and try to see how much is new, how much is window dressing and really how they want to try to play. I know what you’re saying, but I think really it’s kind of the same in all games.

Q: We always talk about in-game adjustments and we always think about the time you have with the players during halftime. But do those adjustments begin with the first play and the first drive?

BB: Yeah, definitely, the first drive as soon as we come off and we have a lot more information than we had going into the game even if some of it is just a confirmation of their personnel, their groupings, their matchups. [We] try to take a look at what they’re trying to do, why they selected the type of plays that they’ve selected in the first series and what does it look like they’re trying to attack or how they’re trying to play us. With a team like Houston that has some West Coast elements to it, you know that early in the game, there is a script portion or potential in the game and so that’s also another thing you have to factor in. Teams that are script-type teams, how you want to treat that because script isn’t always necessarily the way the whole game goes. Sometimes a script is just a script. But yeah definitely, it starts as soon as the game starts. You get halftime, fourth quarter, a lot of times is just situational football based on the score, whatever the conditions happen to be. A lot of times, the game plan really only goes two, two and a half, three quarters depending on the way the game unfolds and then a lot of times in the fourth quarter you’re just playing situational football or you’ve seen so much of the game that you’re no longer in a game plan mode, you’re [in] ‘Play the game the way this particular game is being played,’ mentality.

Q: How much does experience factor into the playoffs? Does it aid in preparation and game situations? How big of an impact can it have?

BB: I don’t know. I think it has some but I don’t think it is overriding by any means. You can find plenty of examples of teams and players with limited experience that have done very well and plenty of those same examples where it hasn’t gone so well. But I think like anything else, if you’ve been through it once you have a little more knowledge and a little more confidence and understanding of what’s going to happen than if you’ve never been through it before. I think there is some advantage to it but I think the advantage goes to the team that plays well, that executes well, makes good decisions. I think that’s more of an advantage than experience or no experience.

Q: When you are dealing with the stretch running play, I have been told by previous players that the middle of the defensive line is most critical in dictating the success of the play. Is that accurate?

BB: I think everybody is important on that play, the inside, the outside – you can’t have one without the other. Also, I think it depends a little bit on what defense you’re in, what the call is, what the coverage is, what the run force is and what you have going on in the front. It’s hard for me to just single out one player in the running game because so many are involved and a good back will find wherever the hole is so it really needs to be good team defense across the board or you’re going to have trouble. If you have four or five gaps well handled but don’t have one handled, a good back is going to find that spot and you’re going to be in trouble. I don’t want to say it negates some of the better part of the defense if you break down somewhere but it does, that’s just the reality of it. It would be hard for me to single out one thing more than any other. I think they’re all important.

Q: When you have seen a team before do you encourage your team to have short memories? For example, do you want them to forget that Arian Foster only have 45 yards in the first meeting?

BB: Well yeah, I don’t think anybody cares right now whether he gained 145 yards or 45 yards. It’s more about what we have to do as a defense to handle the plays that they run. Again, depending on what call we happen to be in then those responsibilities may shift or they do shift defensively. The stats and the score and all that, I don’t think anybody really cares about that. The only thing we really care about is trying to defend what they do and know what we do so we can make the adjustments to it. Or on the other side of the ball, set up the way we want to try to attack their defense and know how when they do different things we’ll have to handle their alignments or whatever they’re doing, how we’re going to handle that, depending on which play we have called. I don’t think anybody cares about the stats from the game.

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