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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript - 10/12/2012

Posted Oct 12, 2012

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, October 12, 2012.

BB: We'll try to put the finishing touches here on our preparations for the Seahawks. It's been a challenging week with all their outstanding players and the problems they present, a team we're not really that familiar with. Everybody has really been working hard to try to get down and understand exactly what we have to do. Hopefully today will be a good day [and] we can kind of pull things together and be ready to go on Sunday.

QB: Based on the forecast, is it another good day out there for you guys to practice for Seattle?

BB: This sounds like about what it's going to be.

QB: When you're preparing your game plan for the week, are you looking as far as the weather on Sunday?

BB: It's hard to get that right. A lot of times, the day before the game you don't know what it's going to be. I think you have to be prepared for contingencies, but I think it's hard to base a game plan on a forecast a week away; I think you have to be pretty confident with it.

QB: This is an interesting stretch of travel for you guys going out to Seattle, coming back and playing the Jets and then heading out to London. Is this a primer for what you guys can expect?

BB: Right, but for right now, we're just one week at a time. That's the farthest thought from our minds. We're just trying to go out through this week and go out there and play well against Seattle.

QB: Will you get there and stretch some guys out when you land?

BB: I don't think we get in until like 9, 9:30 at night, something like that, so no.

QB: I'm just asking because when the Doc Rivers took the Celtics to Turkey, they flew all night and then practiced right off the plane.

BB: I'm sure Doc did what he thought was best for his team. I'm sure he made a good decision for his team. I don't question that.

QB: Are you guys doing more than your normal day before a game on Saturday?

BB: No.

QB: You've gotten some impact plays the last few weeks from Rob Ninkovich. What part of his skill set allows him to change from linebacker to defensive end and are you pleased with the transition?

BB: I think Rob has pretty much been doing the same thing for the last couple years for us. It's really been about the same for him. Rob is athletic, he can run, he has good balance, good strength, so he can work against bigger guys. He's also quick enough to give bigger guys trouble with his athletic ability. He's an instinctive player, uses his hands well, has a good feel for the ball and situations and anticipates things well.

QB: Is the length of the flight and travel a consideration when talking about guys with injuries?

BB: I guess it would depend on the injury.

QB: Is there something to long flights and swelling? I don't know if that's just a myth.

BB: I'm sure there is.

QB: Seattle has gotten some good early returns from their rookies. Are you impressed with their rookie class out there?

BB: Yeah, they have a lot of good, young players. Their whole team – it seems like most of their team – is under three years, other than just a handful of guys. They've gotten good production out of them. [Robert] Turbin has been impressive when he's played in there for [Marshawn] Lynch. [Russell] Wilson obviously, [Bruce] Irvin has been a good pass rusher for them, [Bobby] Wagner has been very productive for them, a middle linebacker, he's made a lot of plays. It looks like a good, solid group. A couple guys contribute in the kicking game. They done well, they've drafted well. Pete [Carroll] has put together a real good football team. I think he's done a great job of turning that roster over. He's got a lot of young players but they're good, they're good players. I've been real impressed with what he's done, no question.

QB: What challenges does Russell Wilson present considering he has a pretty good set of wheels?

BB: He's athletic. They use him some – his athletic ability, his running ability – as a sixth receiver, if you will. You have to be careful with him in the pocket or getting out of the pocket, plays that involve the quarterback running the ball: play-action passes, bootlegs, rollouts, things like that. He's active. He does a good job on all that stuff. Good decision maker; tough kid.

QB: What does Nate Ebner bring to the team?

BB: Nate has played primarily in the kicking game for us; that was his role in college. He's aggressive, he's got good speed and plays strong. He has good instincts in the kicking game, like he did in college. He's been productive for us.

QB: Everybody seems to have a Beano Cook story. Did you ever cross paths with him and have a story?

BB: No.

QB: When you go up against a guy like Bruce Irvin, do you give the tackles and the offensive line a look at the player with someone who is smaller and quicker to give them reps during practice?

BB: We try to do that, yeah. We look at our roster and try to match up our scout team players similar to the type of players that we'll be playing that week, when possible: receivers, tight ends, pass rushers, defensive backs. Yeah, we would take our guys that are more like their guys and try to put them in those positions or somebody that would give us an approximate look of that person's style of play, definitely.

QB: Did you have anyone specific with Bruce Irvin this week?

BB: Again, we do that every week. We talk guys and we talk about that as a staff – who is going to be who, who is going to be [Chris] Clemons, who is going to be [Bruce] Irvin, who is going to be [Sidney] Rice, who is going to be [Marshawn] Lynch, who is going to be [Robert] Turbin, who is going to be Leon Washington, who is going to be everybody. Sometimes it's just by the position that person plays and the person that we have plays the position and is familiar with it, so it helps our guys to get the reps for that. Sometimes it's to replicate their player. Our younger players, our practice squad players, some of the guys that don't play as much, we also want to try to put them in a position where they can execute plays at their position rather than move them somewhere else [and] playing them out of position. We try to play them where they play so that their reps are a higher quality rep in their personal development. So, it's a combination of all those things. We talk about that every week and try to put those players in the position that helps them and helps us the most as a team, whatever that is. It changes from week to week.

QB: Who was Bruce Irvin this week because he's so fast?

BB: Right, without getting into who does everything, I'm just saying that's the process.

QB: Their cornerbacks are pretty big guys. Does that affect some of the things you want to do in the passing game? Are there things that their size makes more difficult?

BB: Sure, yeah, absolutely. The technique is different. I think competing against that type of player is different. That's one of the good things about going against different players on our team that have different skill sets and also practicing against different teams like New Orleans and Tampa: you get different types of players that eventually over the course of the year, you're going to see somebody that's similar to someone you've seen and that kind of matchup. That type of experience helps. Technique is different and the playing style is different. Certainly it's a lot different for a quarterback throwing over a 5-9 guy, as opposed to throwing over a 6-4 guy. There's a lot more – those guys take up a lot of space. [Brandon] Browner is a very athletic guy. He moves well and covers a lot of ground and he's really long. We've played against those guys before, the [Ryan] McNeils and the [Antonio] Cromarties and Drayton Florence in Buffalo and guys like that: 6-2, 6-3 type corners. They definitely present a problem. [Bobby] Taylor in Philadelphia, those kind of guys, over the course of the years. They're unique. You don't usually see those guys with that kind of length out there. It presents a problem for the receivers and for the quarterback.

QB: Is this a helpful week to have a guy like Ras-I Dowling in your secondary to simulate what you'll see on Sunday?

BB: He's probably the closest player that we have to that type of player, that's obvious.

QB: How encouraged are you by what you've seen from Aaron Hernandez in practice and what he may be able to do for you on Sunday?

BB: We'll just have to see how it goes here. He practiced late last week and did some things yesterday and on Wednesday. We'll see how he is today. We'll see if that set him back or didn't set him back or how that went. We'll have a day to evaluate it on Saturday and we'll see where we're at on Sunday. I don't know; could be a game-time decision. Maybe we'll know sooner depending on what information we have today or maybe before we leave.

QB: Just given the nature of the injury, how encouraged were you to see Aaron Hernandez back last week?

BB: It's great to see every player back out there. Anytime we have a player come back and practice, like Julian [Edelman] yesterday, Aaron last week, whoever it is. It's good to see every player back out there practicing. I don't care what injury they're coming off of, it's good to see everybody back out there. It means they're closer to being able to help our team and doing what we'll need for them to do sooner or later. That's always good.

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