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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

Posted Dec 20, 2011

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, December 20, 2011.


BB: Feel like Wednesday? It's Wednesday. We're back in the division here. I think Miami is a team that has really played well the last couple of months - 5-2; done a good job in all three phases of the game. Offensively, great collection of skill players: backs, tight ends, receivers. Defensively, good front, good linebackers, good secondary, turning the ball over, stopping the run. Get good returns in the kicking game. It's a solid team that's playing very well, played very well against Buffalo last week. It's a short week, we have to turn things around quickly here, a lot to get ready for. Coach [Mike] Nolan, Coach [Brian] Daboll, the offensive and defensive schemes that they run are pretty challenging, they do a lot of different things. We'll really have to, like I said, turn this around quickly, get back familiar with what they do.  


Q: Any stark differences to what they did to what they're doing now?  


BB: If you look at their early part of the season, they were in a lot of close games. Every game seems like a last possession kind of game. They're winning them now, although some of their games recently have been kind of one-sided - handled Oakland, handled Kansas City, they've handled some people. Even Buffalo, I think the score was probably a little closer than the game was, middle of the fourth quarter. They've played well all year. The record doesn't reflect that but the score of the games and the competitiveness of the games when you watch it certainly does.  


Q: What kind of a different look are you going to get from Matt Moore as opposed to what you saw from Chad Henne?  


BB: We saw Moore a couple of years ago. He's an athletic guy. He doesn't turn the ball over, he's making good decisions, getting the ball to their good skill players [Reggie] Bush and [Brandon] Marshall and [Anthony] Fasano and [Brian] Hartline, Davone [Bess] and all those guys. He's got a lot of weapons; they have the running game going too. I think Bush has done a good job there. Of course they bring [Daniel] Thomas, they've a big back, they've got another guy that's, Bush is kind of a tough matchup guy. Moore has done a good job of getting the ball to his skill players, making good decisions, not turning it over, managing the team well. They've been productive; scoring in the red area. He can run if he has to but he can make the throws too - get the ball down the field, get it to his receivers and let them do the work, like a good quarterback does.  


Q: You accomplished one goal on Sunday by winning the East. Now with the Steelers, Ravens and Texans losing you have the chance to lock up the number one seed. Is that something you bring up with the players or don't mention?  


BB: Whatever happens, we can't control what any of those other teams do so we'll just try to go out there and play well against Miami on Saturday. That's what we do.  


Q: Is it nice when it works out that way? You guys did your job winning and then by other circumstances, you now find yourselves as the number one seed. It makes things easier for you, kind of like an early Christmas gift.  


BB: We have to go out and win, that's what we have to do. We can't worry about what everybody else does or doesn't do. We don't have any control over that. If we don't do well then I don't think we'll be where we want to be.  


Q: Do you want that to be used as motivation or is that basically motivation throughout the whole season anyway?  


BB: Right now, all we're worried about is Miami. All the rest of it is just something for you guys to write about.  


Q: How has Reggie Bush's role evolved over the course of the season?  


BB: We didn't really see a lot of him in preseason. They just used him a little bit. Of course we saw it in the opener; we've seen it all the way through. They throw it to him, he runs it - he runs it inside, he runs it outside. They get him the ball in different types of plays - he's a receiver, he's a running back. You don't really know where he's going to be. He'll be out of the backfield, he'll be back in the backfield as a ball carrier or receiver. He's a tough guy to matchup on. They've used him that way all the way through the season. It changes a little bit from game to game based on their game plan but they do a good job of putting him in places that stress the defense, make it hard to defend or if you defend him, you've got a problem with somebody else. They've done a good job of that. They've moved him around and created different formations, different matchups all season - we'll have to be ready for a lot of different things.  


Q: The Broncos dedicated a lot of attention to Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez had a big game. It was another example of what you guys talk about, when they take away one thing you go to something else. Have you had to convince your receivers to be okay with it being them one game and somebody else the next?  


BB: That's what we've been putting in from day one. We go out to practice, we call a pattern, it depends on what the defense is. Everybody has to be ready, everybody has to be alert, everybody has to expect the ball because depending on what the defense does that's why their route is important. There's no routes that we run that we say, ‘We don't really care what you do.' We do care because in certain situations they would be the key guy. In another situation, it may be somebody else. We've had plays over the last couple of weeks we had another one [Sunday], had another one against Washington, where the quarterback scrambles and everybody becomes alive again. You just go out there, you do your job and you let the play play out and try not to predetermine what's going to happen. Take what you get and then make the most of it and that usually it works out okay.  


Q: How do you replace what Andre Carter brought on the field skill-wise?  


BB: Whatever 11 guys are out there, they're going to have to get the job done, whatever it is. We don't know what play they're going to run so whoever we put out there will have to defend whatever plays they choose to call - runs, passes, play action, whatever it is, we're just going to have to go out there and defend it with whichever group we put out there. Some of that will depend on who they put on the field and how we match up and so forth. I don't know.  


Q: Will it force you to rotate a little bit more because he was out there a significant number of snaps?  


BB: I'm not sure. Who do they have out there?  


Q: But you kept him on the field for the most part, regardless of who they had out there.  


BB: Right. I'm saying that might be different now but it might not - it depends on what they do.  


Q: Has Mark Anderson showed you enough in the run game that you could consider him an every down player or do you view him as situational pass rusher?  


BB: I think he's shown that he can play. He played a lot against Denver.  


Q: But they were throwing a lot in the second half too.  


BB: Again, we don't know whether they're going to run or pass. They control that, that's not something we can control. Whatever plays they call, we have to be ready to defend collectively as a team each guy has to do their job. We have plenty of players who are better against the run who are out there for pass plays. We have plenty of players who are probably better against the pass that are out there and have to defend the run. When you're on defense, you don't have any control over that. Offensively you can control that. If you want to put somebody in on a running play and then take them out on a passing play, no problem, you can do that. Defensively you really can't.  


Q: Did you like the change of pace and contributions that you got from Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead on Sunday?  


BB: I feel like all our backs have been productive this season when they've had an opportunity. Stevan, Shane [Vereen] when he had a chance, Kevin [Faulk] did some good things for us in the Indianapolis game, Woody [Danny Woodhead] has done well, Benny [BenJarvus-Green Ellis]. I think they've all been productive, they're different style runners, they have different ways of doing it but they've all had production for us. I think whichever one we put in the game we'll be confident in. We think that player will produce for us or he wouldn't be in there. They've all been in there.  


Q: You had a lot of high praise over the course of the year for Andre Carter. Is he someone you'd be interested in bringing back next year?  


BB: We'll deal with next year next year. Right now we're trying to get ready for Miami.  


Q: Do you have a guy in mind for Andre Carter's roster spot or will you wait until the end of the week to fill that spot?  


BB: We're looking at some options. That might be at the end of the week or it might not. Sorry I can't be any clearer than that. There are several different things to consider, we have a lot of different aspects of our team that we could look at. Maybe it's a defensive lineman, maybe it's something else. We'll just take a look and see what our options are and do what we feel like is the best decision. I'm not sure exactly what that will be.  


Q: Early in your career, were you ever part of a staff that had a mid-season coaching change? Detroit?  


BB: Yes.  


Q: What was that situation like, like Miami is going through right now?  


BB: I don't know, I think everything is different. That particular year, I think we were 1-3, 1-4 or something like that. We actually played New England that week. It was Coach [Tommy] Hudspeth's first game and they had beaten Oakland, beaten Pittsburgh, it was a powerhouse team. We played really well that game and beat them by three touchdowns.  


Q: What was it like from your perspective as an assistant trying to keep the team together?  


BB: Keep who together? Everybody is on a team, everybody has a job to do. Whoever the head coach is, that's who you take your direction from. I mean, you've worked for different editors, right? We all work for different coaches, we all work for different editors, we all work for different producers or whoever it is. You do your job under the direction of whoever is in charge, that's what you do. Or I guess you could quit your job and walk away but if you're going to stay, then you stay and do it for the person who is in charge, right? I'm not saying it's not a significant change any more than it would be if you changed editors or producers or whoever is in charge. You have a change, you make a change, here's the direction, some of it is the same, some of it is different. Maybe your role changes, maybe it doesn't. I don't know.  Every one is unique so whatever it is, you go with it.  


Q: Can you talk about Mark Anderson's development this year and what he's been able to contribute?  


BB: I think Mark has had a pretty solid year. He came in in training camp. Obviously had no offseason, we had a lot of exposure to him; he played in Chicago. He had a productive career coming out of Alabama, particularly his senior year and Senior Bowl. He was in Chicago and then last year in Houston, played in the 3-4 type of scheme, he also played defensive end in their sub situation. It's kind of like what he does here. He's been a pretty consistent player for us all year - in our preseason games, practices, regular season games he's been productive. [He] Primarily plays on the outside at the end of the line which is what he did in college, what he did in Chicago, although Chicago did play him inside some but primarily outside and at Houston. Good athlete, works hard, on the field - he's out there every day. Works hard, keeps getting better - it's a good formula.  


Q: Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker just joined Twitter. When will we see you on there?  


BB: Never. You'll never see me on Twitter, My Face, Yearbook or any of that. Forget about that.  


Q: Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz is on Twitter. He tweets music.  


BB: Great, great. That's not really my thing. I'm real excited to hear that though, that's good. My Twitter or whatever it is. Before I can join any of those, I'd have to know what they are.

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