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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, August 27, 2013.

BB: We're kind of in the same place we were yesterday: same type of schedule, same type of emphasis. Just trying to string a few days together as we wind down the preseason and get ready for the start of the regular season.

Q: What have you seen from Dan Connolly recently?

BB: Dan has been getting back into it. Worked hard, even during the time he was out, stayed on top of everything and was able to practice last week, play against Detroit. I think he's coming around.

Q: How would you assess his performance against Detroit?

BB: Based on the whole game, I don't think I'd really nominate anybody for the Hall of Fame in that game. None of us performed very well.

Q: When you're making a decision on putting a player on the PUP list and he won't be available for the first two or three games, how does that complicate things?

BB: Every decision we make on a player comes down to two things really: what's best for the player and what's best for the team. When those are the same, it's easy. When they're not, something has to give and you have to make a call one way or the other. That's the way it is with everything.

Q: Is it hard to hold a roster spot for a player that might not be ready for the first couple weeks?

BB: I think it's just what I said it was. Each situation is independent: it depends on the situation, it depends on what your other options are, what the injury is, how long are you're talking about, what the expectations are, what kind of depth you have at that position. You can go on and on. Each situation is different.

Q: How does Rob Gronkowski look? I know he was out there yesterday running around.

BB: He's been out there every day. He's been in a camp the whole – he hasn't missed a day of camp.

Q: Gronkowksi?

BB: He was here the first day of camp. He's been doing the same thing every day.

Q: How has he looked recently?

BB: He's been doing the same thing every day.

Q: He's been out there every day?

BB: The same thing every day. For those of us who have been here, it's been the same thing every day.

Q: He was out in the view of media yesterday.

BB: Same thing every day.

Q: Have you been able to tell how the players have responded getting back to work after the Detroit game?

BB: I can't tell you how every single guy is doing or looks at it but hopefully as a team we can move forward. We certainly need to.

Q: When you keep a third quarterback, what positions might that be in comparison to? If you keep a third quarterback, who is that position – is it a fifth running back that you might have to get rid of?

BB: I don't know. I think that position doesn't really line up with any other position. Quarterbacks are quarterbacks. I think other positions can, like you said, have a play based in the kicking game or offensive formations or defensive personnel groups or whatever it happens to be but quarterbacks are, I think that's a whole – how many you carry is based on really that position and that position alone. I don't think it has too much to do with some other position. Obviously you can keep somebody else at another position if you only keep two quarterbacks but I think it really just comes down to that position itself.

Q: What has the experience been like with Tim Tebow?

BB: He's great to work with; outstanding.

Q: What has been your impression of the way some of the young receivers have been able to assimilate their way into this offense throughout the course of camp, in particular the rookies, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce?

BB: Like a lot of rookies, some good things, some not so good. Better over time; we'll see how it goes.

Q: What is the biggest challenge they face?

BB: Everything.

Q: Dont'a Hightower has been using the communication helmet in the preseason games. Is that something you're considering for the regular season or is that just something you're doing in the preseason?

BB: We could do it. We're only allowed to have one green dot on one player and then if that player wasn't in the game, then we could put it on somebody else. We use it with different people in preseason so if we get to that point during the season a lot of the guys that have experience with it. Safeties, linebackers, we've used it on different people in practices and in preseason games just for the experience of it.

Q: How many players do you have to have ready to do that on any given day?

BB: I'd say in any given week, it probably is two and then depending on who the third is, that may or may not be realistic. It's hard to practice more than two, I would say.

Q: I know you have no control over court dates and what happens during court dates but how much extra planning have you had to do in regard to Alfonzo Dennard and what may or may not happen with him down the road?

BB: Not much. Like you said, all that is out of our control.

Q: Have you had to have a Plan B scenario whether he's with you or not with you?

BB: It's out of our control.

Q: How much more difficult is it to evaluate special teams than evaluating offense and defense in preseason?

BB: It's different. You just can't practice special teams at the same speed that it happens in the game. No matter how hard you try to practice it that way, it's just not the same: the live tackling, the whole space situation that's created in the kicking game. You practice it, you certainly evaluate it in practice but it doesn't always quite show up that way in the game due to game speed and the athleticism that's required of the players in space to block, tackle, avoid getting in the lanes, make those judgments, all those kinds of things in the coverage and the return game. Preseason production in the kicking game is certainly a factor. Practice is a factor but assuming that guys have their assignments right, then it comes down to performance and production and that's not easy to gauge in practice. You can attempt to do it based on what you see but it's not the same as what you see in a game.

Q: Is it safe to say that individual performance in special teams carries a bit more than offense or defense?

BB: Possibly, I think so. Again, I think you have to evaluate the plays and specifically what happened. But still, yeah, it's hard to see it in practice. There were some good examples in the Philadelphia and Tampa practices where it was good, competitive situations of punt and punt return, guys trying to get off the line, guys trying to hold them up, that type of thing; the gunners against the vices outside. But it's still not totally game conditions whereas things like a defensive back covering a receiver can be pretty close to a game situation. Maybe not the tackling or the actual finish part of it, but the actual coverage. You can do one-on-one pass rush, one-on-one pass protection pretty close to what it is in a game. It's a lot harder to get that same situation in the kicking game where you run 40 yards, avoid a guy, tackle him, block him, with a returner involved, with the amount of space that's involved. It's just hard to create that. The contact and all that is much more in the games than it is in practice.

Q: When you're deciding whether or not to keep a third quarterback, does special teams play into that? Would you have a third quarterback competing with guys down the roster on special teams, because quarterbacks don't typically play special teams?

BB: It would depend on the situation.

Q: What has made Tim Tebow outstanding to be around?

BB: Smart, works hard, football is important to him.