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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

Posted Sep 10, 2013

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.

BB: I think this is a big challenge for us this week with the limited amount of preparation time and the amount of things the Jets do. They have a real good scheme. Offensively they do a lot of different things. Coach [Marty] Mornhinweg has a variety of looks and plays that go with it, good complementary plays. Defensively, of course they give you a lot of different things to prepare for there. Same thing in the kicking game, a lot of game plan type rushes and returns, things like that. Some new players down there; obviously new coordinators, although some of those guys have been in the organization, but it’s a bit of a different look but a lot of familiar faces. Certainly I think the overall style of play is similar to what we’ve seen from the past. We’re just going to have to have a quick turnaround here and get in-tune with what the Jets do. They’re a tough team to prepare for. They definitely made the plays last week against Tampa in the fourth quarter at the end of the game that they needed to make to win. They’re a tough minded football team.

Q: Do injuries add to the challenge of the short week?

BB: I don’t know. Those things come up every week.

Q: Do you shorten the game plan at all or depend on past history because of the short week?

BB: Again, I’m not sure how much the history is relevant. They changed offensive coordinators so I think there are some major differences there, some similarities on defense, but there are quite a few differences defensively to what they’ve done in the past. They changed coordinators in the kicking game. We’ll do what we think is best, let’s put it that way. We’ll do what we think is best, we’ll have to make some decisions on that, what we want to do versus what we can do, what we can practice. Those are the decisions we’ll have to make this week.

Q: I’m assuming because you’re walking through today, you won’t have full practices this week, right?

BB: We’re going to walk through today.

Q: What went into the decision not to have full practices and what kind of challenges does that present?

BB: The decision was we did what we thought was best for the team to prepare for the game. We feel like this is the best way to do it.

Q: Is it because of the physical aspect?

BB: It’s everything. It’s what we feel is best.

Q: How do you handle Stevan Ridley this week after his fumbles last week? Do you talk to him?

BB: Yeah, I’ve talked to Stevan. Look, every player has the same responsibility every week: to be ready to play, to be ready to go. That’s their job. They can’t control coaches’ decisions, coaches’ decisions are coaches’ decisions. They can control their preparation; they control their performance when they’re in the game. That’s what a player’s job is. It’s all the same for everybody.

Q: Any chance for Rob Gronkowski to play on Thursday?

BB: We’ll give you the practice report and the injury report on Friday, which is today, right? So, we’ll update it today.

Q: Where is Danny Amendola at physically?

BB: We’ll update all the injuries at the end of practice like we always do.

Q: What are your impressions of Geno Smith?

BB: I thought he played well in the preseason, limited opportunity, and then I thought he played very well against Tampa last week. He ran well, he threw well, he made good decisions, moved the team at critical points in the game. That’s the most important thing – he made the plays he needed to make to win.

Q: When you have a rookie quarterback who has the running skill, does he sometimes use it unwisely because he’s just trying to get away from pressure?

BB: We can’t really control what the players on the other side of the ball do. We just have to do what our defense is, what our assignments are and play it the best we can. If they decide to run, then we have to stop the run. If they decide to scramble and throw, then we have to cover receivers. We can’t control that. The ball isn’t in our hands. We just have to defend whatever the plays are and whatever the execution of the plays, however they unfold, then we just have to play our responsibilities out.

Q: Knowing this was coming in Week 2, did you have to have your players prepared for the Jets during the preseason?

BB: We prepared as a staff and I think the players’ focus is week-to-week on the next game.

Q: You’ve been through short weeks before. Is it unusual not to have a full practice or have you done that before?

BB: Many times.

Q: How valuable is having that experience?

BB: I think every week is the same thing for me. You look at the situation, you look at the game, you look at the circumstances involved in the game and you make the practice decisions based on what you feel is best for the team, at that particular time, for that game. That doesn’t have anything to do with the game before or the game after or some other year. It’s what you feel is best. We do that every week. Heading into the week, we decide what we feel is the best thing for the team, what we need, what the team needs, try to handle that situation on a week-by-week basis.

Q: How do you plan on handling the loss of Shane Vereen this week?

BB: Whatever players are active for the game, I expect them all to be prepared and ready to play. We’ll see how it all turns out.

Q: What is the common thread in games against Ryan Ryan defenses? What is the challenge in preparing to face his scheme and what he does defensively?

BB: I think Rex is to a degree a game plan coach. He defends you the way that they feel they need to do that. How they defend you and how they defended the team before or the opponent after is all based on how he sees the matchups and what he wants to do. There’s certainly going to be some in-game adjustments that we’ll have to make, I’m sure, in all three phases of the game based on how they specifically want to try to attack us.

Q: Do you see a lot of contrast on a game plan basis from Rex Ryan in all the games that have been played between the Patriots and Jets since 2009?

BB: Yeah, definitely. I’d say some – the fundamentals of the defense are the same. You could look at all those games and say, ‘Well, there are a lot of things that are the same.’ But there are a lot of things that are different and those are specific to either the way or the personnel matchups. I don’t know, you’d have to ask him why he changed them but I think they’re specific to the situations in those games.

Q: Is there any carryover from last week having faced Mike Pettine and now facing Rex Ryan?

BB: Again, I think there’s an overall carryover in terms of basic fundamentals of the defense but the specific game plans and obviously the individual players will be quite different. Whether their game plan will be similar to Buffalo’s or not, I have no idea.

Q: But there are some things that can help?

BB: The fundamentals of the defense, the overall concepts, I think are very similar. But from week to week in the game plans, they have quite a bit of variety as to how they want to play one team versus how they want to play another team. I don’t think you really know that until the game starts. You can try to anticipate it, but it’s just an educated guess.

Q: What is your impression of their defensive line with Muhammad Wilkerson and the addition of Sheldon Richardson?

BB: Good. They’re strong, they’re physical, they run well, they’re hard to block. It’s a good group, they have good depth. [Defensive tackle] [Damon] Harrison, they have a lot of good players up there, yes. It’s a good group.

Q:
What do you think about Rex Ryan specifically as a defensive coach? 

BB: Good, does a good job, well prepared, players play hard. He has good – he attacks the offense.

Q: Do you enjoy the competition of matching up against him? Any time you’re in a division, you’re going to see the same team twice a year, how much do you enjoy it?

BB: Look, it’s a very competitive rivalry between the Jets and the Patriots. I’ve been on both sides of it. It’s very competitive. That’s what the NFL is about: it’s about competitive every week. It’s challenging. I don’t know if enjoyable is the right word but it’s challenging. But it’s like that with every team in this division. It’s like that really with every team on the schedule. There are challenges every week. There will be plenty of them from the Jets, not question about that. That’s what we do. We see that every week.

Q: Is there any thinking that if you sit a player on Thursday, you’ll get him 10 days of rest before you play again?

BB: We consult with our medical people and make the best decisions we can for the team. I don’t know any other way to put it.

Q: After having Leon Washington in camp, is that an advantageous situation for you to have somebody that you have confidence in throwing right in rather than someone off the street?

BB: Yeah, of course, sure. Leon has a lot of reps in our system, both on offense and in the kicking game. His learning curve is much smaller: just the game plan specifics for that individual week that we’re going into that he has to brush up on like every other player does. But the overall background and the basics of our system, he’s well trained in, relative to a player that wasn’t here, no question about that.

Q: Any roster moves today?

BB: We don’t have any to announce now, no.

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