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Bill Belichick Postgame Transcript

Posted Sep 1, 2011

BB: Well, that was a good competitive game for us. I'm sure that we'll learn a lot when we look at the film here tomorrow and then we'll turn our sights toward some roster decisions and get on to Miami. I think everybody's looking forward to the start of the season. We've got a lot of work to do, and we'll get started on it tomorrow.  

Q: You don't generally see a lot of starters in the fourth preseason game, but your starters missed the first game, so did this kind of make up for that to give you more evaluation time?  

BB: I don't really think it was any different than it was last year.

Q: What did you see from your offense? What did you like and what didn't you?  

BB: I'm sure there were some good things and some things we could have done better. We'll look at the film, make the corrections, and move on like we usually do.  

Q: Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis got a chance to get some playing time tonight. Was it good to get them some reps?  

BB: Yeah, we had several guys out there that haven't played in preseason and we had a chance to play them today. It was good to get them a little action. I'm sure that will benefit them.  

Q: In what ways can it be beneficial? The communication and just seeing how the operation is different than practice?  

BB: Yeah, it's a different tempo in practice.  

Q: As much as you can tell at this point, do you feel like your team is ready for a regular season game?  

BB: I don't think you can ever tell. It takes about three or four regular season games before you really know what you've got. Without any game planning in preseason, it's hard to tell.  

Q: In reality, how many spots were really up for grabs tonight? Can players really play their way onto the team in this game?  

BB: I don't know. I don't know. We'll do the best we can to make up the team and put together the best squad we can. There's always a lot of player movement this time of the season. Last year we traded for Tracy White and we weren't even talking about him after the game last year, so things like that happen. Who knows? I don't know.  

Q: How important was it to get into a defensive line rotation and get a lot of bodies in and out of that game?  

BB: I don't know. I don't think it was that important.  

Q: You guys claimed Antwaun Molden off waivers. What are your thoughts on him and what did you like about him?  

BB: He's a big corner, [an] athletic guy who can run. [He] played in the kicking game.

Q: Is he a guy that could possibly play safety?  

BB: I don't know. He's only been here one day. He flew in last night, so we've only had him for one day. I thought he did a pretty good job just being out there and being competitive at corner, so I really don't have any idea.  

Q: Speaking of safety, Josh Barrett got out there a bunch tonight. What does he bring to the team?  

BB: Josh is a big safety that can run, has some experience, played in the kicking game, played defensively, both down and nickel defenses and also back and safety for the Broncos. Obviously, he didn't play last year. He's had an opportunity to practice the last couple weeks. He had a chance to play tonight, so it was good. It was good to get all those guys out there tonight that haven't played this year in games.  

Q: The pregame ceremony was quite moving to a lot of people, including Joe Andruzzi's part in it. Were you able to see that at all and if so, what were your thoughts on that?  

BB: Yeah, of course we saw the servicemen march out there and be there for the national anthem. Yeah, it was very moving. I think we all remember that day and that season and the way that season started with Joe and his brothers coming up. It was a very emotional season and it brought back a lot of emotional memories.  

Q: Do you remember Joe's part with the flag waiving?  

BB: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Joe has always been a great teammate and warrior for this organization and when he and his family and their extended family and the New York firefighters – all of his friends and associates there, that's an extended family. So our hearts went out to him and his family during that time. There still is a great appreciation for all the great work that they continue to do, as well as our servicemen that were there representing all the servicemen that defend us and give us a chance to live the free lives that we do. Anytime we can show tribute to them, it's more than well deserved.  

Q: Obviously you know the veterans a little better, but for rookies like Shane Vereen, what are your general thoughts on what you're looking for with a guy like that in his first time out there?  

BB: We're trying to evaluate everybody, including the veterans. What veterans did last year, that's great, but that's last year. It's really where they are now and what they can contribute to this team, so I think they have to prove themselves just like the rookies do. They have an experience advantage, but they still have to go out there and show what they're able to do and they're competing for playing time as well as roster sports. So I think it's really the same for everybody. We're trying to evaluate the entire team – not just the individuals, but how it fits together and how the team will be comprised. We need a lot of different people to do different jobs, different roles on the team. We'll see how we can work all that out.  

Q: Should we read into anything about the order in which that guys played?  

BB: Well, I think some of that is reflected by the way it was played last week. We want to see different people with different people on our team and against different people with our opponents. I don't know. You just evaluate the way they play. I think that's the most important thing – to look at what players do when they're on the field – on the practice field and the game field – and evaluate their performance. And that's what we try to do, whether it's early, late or in between or whenever it is.  

Q: Fred Taylor will sign a ceremonial contract with the Jaguars tomorrow and retire officially. It didn't work out for him here because of injuries, but what are your thoughts on him in the time that he was here?  

BB: I thought he was a tremendous example for the younger players. He had a great attitude, a great work ethic [and was] very professional. I think he added a lot to our team in those two years. Like you said, he wasn't able to contribute as much on the field as he or we would have liked, but as far as being professional and doing everything the right way and being a great example – not just to the younger players but really all the players – he was exemplary. It was really a privilege for me to coach him. He's had a tremendous career. He's a tremendous player and he deserves all the recognition that he'll be getting. He was outstanding. [He was] a very hard guy to play against and we were very fortunate to have him on our team for a couple of years at the end of his career. We've had several guys like that – the Junior Seaus and the Fred Taylors and guys like that – and they've brought a lot to us at that time and we were fortunate to have them.  

Q: Considering the way the offseason played out, are you glad the preseason is finally over and you can get into some normalcy with the regular season?  

BB: Well, it will be normal for this year. I don't think it will be normal compared to other years. The way practices are structured and all that, it will be quite a bit different than what we've been used to doing. But that's alright. Everybody is doing the same thing. We're all playing under the same rules, so we'll make the most of our opportunities hopefully.

Q: Did the truncated preseason affect the way you approached this game?  

BB: No. No, I'd say this game went pretty much the way last year's game did.  

Q: Around the league, you see some coaches sit players to avoid injuries. You don't do that, so where did that philosophy come from in terms of preseason football?  

BB: We've done that in the past. We've played preseason games with 30-some guys not dressed or not playing. I think you do what's best for your team. That's what I try to do. I can't worry about what the other 31 teams are doing. I don't want say I don't care, but I really don't. I'm just concerned about our team. Other teams can do whatever they want.  

Q: Was it good to see some guys on the field who haven't played much yet?  

BB: Yeah, sure. The guys that haven't played – a number of them – got a chance to play today: Shaun [Ellis], Josh Barrett, [Shayne] Vereen, Albert [Haynesworth], Mike Wright. So, it was good. Those guys were able to get in there and play. We'll see how it looks. I'm sure that … gets some hits, get a little soreness, get use to the contact part of it, get used to the game tempo, if you will. Practice is practice and it's great preparation, but it's a higher level in games. I think it was good for them to get that.  

Q: Nate Solder has played on both sides of the line. What are your thoughts on his play this preseason and where do you think he'll end up?  

BB: I mean, I don't know where he'll end up. He's gotten a lot of work in preseason. I think he's going to be a good player. I think he is a good player. I think he's got a lot to learn, like all rookies do. He's playing a tough position, but he's certainly got the physical and mental qualities and the competitiveness and he's a very hard worker. He's made a lot of improvement in, whatever it's been – five weeks he's had here. And he's still got a long way to go. I think he can be a very good player for us if he keeps working hard and continues to improve, which I hope he will.  

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