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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

Posted Jan 5, 2014

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Sunday, January 5, 2014.

BB: Well, it was obviously an exciting game yesterday watching the Colts and Kansas City; it was a tremendous performance coming back in the second half. They did a really good job in all three areas of the game. This is a team that's well coached, that's had a real good season. They beat some of the best teams in the league - in both the AFC and the NFC. They've just been impressive. We've gotten a little work done on them but we obviously have a lot more to do and a short week here. We'll have to really gear it up and obviously play our best football of the year and try to be competitive against this team. This is a good football team.

Q How would you define their offensive approach from the work you've done on them to this point?

BB: It looks like they've gone to a no-huddle, up-tempo type of game. [They] get a lot of people involved. They've had some balance in their running game, with the quarterback also being part of the running game there. T.Y. Hilton has had a great year for them but they've gotten a lot of production from the backs, the tight ends, the other receivers. It's a solid group up front, they've protected well. Explosive football team - we all saw it the other night, how quickly they can score, how explosive they are. They've done a real good job of not turning the ball over; haven't given up a lot of negative plays, very few penalties - like 50 penalties or something like that, whatever it is, not very many. For the most part this year they've played mistake-free and have an explosive, well-balanced attack. Obviously [Andrew] Luck has done a great job and they have a tremendous passing game, but their balance, their running game, their offensive line, production out of their tight ends has been solid too.

Q How different is this defense from what we've seen from their defense under Tony Dungy and Jim Caldwell? What defines their defensive approach?

BB: I'd say it's quite a bit different. Chuck [Pagano] comes from the Baltimore tree, so I think you see the elements of the Baltimore system there with their mix of coverages and pressures. They have a good balance of attacking the offense with their multiple coverages, multiple type blitzers - linebacker blitzes, secondary blitzes, zone coverages, man coverages, they mix it up and do a good job keeping the offense off balance. They don't just sit in one thing.

Q We've talked about the comebacks for your team and your team's mental toughness. Have you seen mental toughness from the Colts in your game study?

BB: I'd say the Colts have shown real good mental toughness this year. Starting out in the beginning of the season going out and beating San Francisco in San Francisco, that was impressive. They obviously went out and beat Kansas City a couple weeks ago pretty decisively. They've shown mental toughness, I think, throughout the year. They had a couple losses that they bounced right back from with big wins the following week. I think they've shown a lot of mental toughness. Yesterday's game was about as good as it gets. To be that far behind in the third quarter, it didn't look too good for them and all the sudden in a hurry you could feel them coming back, or at least I could. If they could get it back to a two-score game in the fourth quarter and then finally if they could get it to a one-score game and they were able to quickly drive it down and score and take the lead. I think they're a very explosive and dangerous team.

Q How has their offense and passing game changed since Reggie Wayne went down?

BB: I'd have to put obviously a little more time and study the specifics, but certainly T.Y. Hilton has stepped up for them big time and given them a ton of production. He's, as we saw, a go-to guy. He had a couple hundred yards yesterday, but he's shown up all year. He's a big key to it, but Luck has done a good job spreading the ball around. He's made some key throws to a lot of guys. He obviously has a lot of confidence in [Coby] Fleener. Their running game has been - [Donald] Brown and [Trent] Richardson have given them a good, solid year running the ball. They have 1,000 yards between them. There's some balance there, whichever guy is in the game. Certainly T.Y. has been a big factor, but I think they've gotten production all the way around. Defense as well, with [Robert] Mathis' strip-sacks and ability to cause negative plays. The scheme that they have defensively, they put the offense in some good field position and have taken advantage of some turnover opportunities that they've had. They have a big plus advantage in the turnover margin, a combination of taking care of the ball and taking advantage of the opponents' mistakes, or causing the mistakes. I'd say all those have added into their high scoring as a team.

Q How much different is what Robert Mathis is doing now in this system in contrast to what he was doing opposite Dwight Freeney in the old system?

BB: He moves around. You have to find him. They also use him some in coverage. He's a very good run player as well for some of the same reasons: his explosiveness and his quickness. Some of the passing situations that get set up are set up by negative plays caused on early downs. He plays some as a linebacker and flips sides and rushes off both sides. They run their share of games, stunts and things like that. He ends up on a lot of different guys. It's not just - I would say when they had Dwight and Mathis there that primarily those guys were always on the tackles certainly the tackles will see a lot of them, but when they stunt inside and run games and things like that, a lot of times they wind up on other guys. Look, those tackles are going to see a lot of him, but everybody has to be ready, too.

Q You saw Andrew Luck as a rookie last year. Can you talk about his growth in the past year and are you surprised how he's been able to develop game after game?

BB: I don't think anything is that surprising. He had a great college career, first pick in the draft. I think everybody saw him as a very talented player coming into this league. He's done all the things that I think he has the talent to do. He's obviously a smart guy. He works hard, he's tough, he has good leadership skills. He's athletic, he can make plays with his feet and his arm: scramble plays, designed plays, plays that play out kind of the way they're drawn up but he can improvise and make plays on his own. He does a good job of seeing down the field. He throws a very good deep ball, has good touch on some of the short and intermediate plays: screens, crossing routes, again some touch plays in the red zone, things like that. There's no question he's a complete football player and one of the top quarterbacks in this league already. He has a great career in front of him but I think he's already established himself as a very poised and talented player that can do a lot of things to beat you and he manages his team well and plays good situational football.

Q Can you lay out the plan for the next day or so? Do the coaches need tomorrow to get things together and will you give the players one more day?

BB: We kind of just bumped everything up a day. We're playing on Saturday so Saturday is Sunday, Friday is Saturday, Thursday is Friday so that means Monday is Tuesday so tomorrow is like a Tuesday for us. Tuesday will be like a Wednesday and we'll just march on through the week.