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Bill Belichcik Press Conference

Bryant College, Smithfield, RIBill Belichick speaks to the press.



            **B:**  I apologize for the delay, I just got out of a meeting with the team, so I'm sorry.  I'm sorry for holding you guys up, I apologize.  We are really on the run this week, it is going to be a tight schedule.  We watched the game film this afternoon.  We are going to go through the Detroit scouting report tonight. Just practice tomorrow, we won't be able to get in pads.  Then Thursday we are off.  We are trying to pack in as much as we can into this one.  I'm going to really push the players hard this week because Detroit is a regular season game for us and we play them in a short week during the season so we are going to have to try to get some preparation done this week, and put it in the bank and draw on it in a couple of months from now when the real one comes up.  That's a little bit of the deal this week.  Coming out of the game, we've got a couple of guys with little things but it doesn't look like anything serious.  We're going to go out and run here in about a half an hour.  We'll get a little better feel then, but I don't think it is anything too bad.  

The guys that we left behind got a lot of treatment over the weekend. They had a couple of good days of healing so I think we've got a shot at getting them back. We'll see how they look out there today when they run with the team. I'll give you an update on that tomorrow. I honestly haven't even seen those guys other than sitting there in the chairs at the meetings.

Q: Were the lack of penalties a highlight for you of last night's game?

B: Yes, sure. There were a lot of positives. I thought the team played hard. I thought we were disciplined in the penalty area, we were pretty disciplined with the ball. We didn't have any turnovers and we didn't have really a lot of close calls. I think the runners took care of the ball. The quarterbacks did a pretty good job doing that too. There was a good effort. I thought we tried to play physically. Defensively, we hustled to the ball and in the kicking game we were able to do a good job of field position in all areas of the kicking game. Adam (Vinatieri) made his kicks and those were important points for us. I thought that there were a lot of positives. On the other hand, we made too many mistakes. We made several games worth for sure. We had substitution errors and we had some mental assignments that were missed. We didn't execute some things that we have really been working on the entire camp. Plays that we have run a thousand times. We just for whatever reasons didn't hit them right. It's a body of work. We certainly need to improve on it. There were some positives to build from but we have to improve on that. We also released two players today. We released Tony Ortiz and Noel Scarlett. I forgot to mention that a little bit earlier.

Q: Do you feel better about the running game now that you've seen it?

B: We've had a lot of nine on seven and we've had a lot of contact there. When you run against yourself or defend it, you never really know. You think it's good, but you never really know until you go against somebody else. It was encouraging to run the ball, I thought the backs ran hard. The lineman tried to stay on their blocks and that was good. Yes, that was encouraging. I don't know whether I expected it or didn't expect it. Like I said, I think you really don't know when you go into that game. On the other hand, the players had some people hurt. We need to keep that as a consistent thing. One game doesn't really establish it. It is a good start and we can build on that but there is a long way to go.

Q: How did Tebucky Jones look to you?

B: Tebucky had his moments. I think on the defensive team, we had a lot of guys who overall played pretty solid games, but had two or three things that they could have been a little bit sharper on. I'd say Tebucky was in that category, but pretty much everybody else was too. What made up for it in last night's game was the overall effort and hustle, particularly in the first group or through the first half. I thought we got a little bit sloppy in the second half. I thought the first half, our team defense, our consistency, was overall better even though, again, we had a few things. Honestly that's why this meeting took so long, so we could try to get some of this stuff squared away.

Q: Do you still have guys with weight issues?

B: We are pretty close. I think we are getting pretty close to getting all of that cleaned up. The players that weren't conditioned or were overweight have worked four or five times a day to try to catch up. They've worked pretty hard. I won't say we are totally over the hump there, but we are pretty close. We are a lot closer than we were two weeks ago.

Q: Are you still fining them the league maximum per pound?

B: Yes, if players don't, yes, sure.

Q: Are you going to use Drew Bledsoe more against Detroit?

B: We pretty much made that decision going into training camp. I think that this week's game against Detroit will be very similar to last night's game against San Francisco. Drew will play some, Michael will play more and Brady, we'll try to get Tom in the situation if we can. I've talked to John (Friesz) and said, 'This is what we have to do to look at these younger players.' He has quite a bit of experience in the league. This is our opportunity to give some of the younger players reps. We would have done the same thing with the offensive line, but we didn't have that luxury so we just put them in there and they have got to play.

Q: How much will Drew Bledsoe be used for Friday night against Detroit, one series or more?

B: There's no one series or a certain number of plays or whatever it is. He'll play a little bit at the beginning. I don't know how much, but it will be enough until we feel like we can get done with him what we need to get done. And then we'll take him out and put Michael (Bishop) in. Michael will play until we feel we've seen the things we need to see from him. I can't give you a number of plays on that.

Q: How did you feel about Michael Bishop's performance?

B: Some good, some bad. He obviously had some smart, good plays and he missed some things that we've been over that I don't think he should have missed. We've corrected those, we've talked about them and hopefully he'll improve on them against Detroit. If they come up again, and I'm sure some of them will. We had an opportunity there to finish off a drive and get the ball in for a touchdown early in the game. We drive it down to the two-yard line and then laid an egg. We had three plays and couldn't make any of them go. Things like that, as I told the team, it doesn't do any good to drive a 450-yard hole in two and then three-put. You get on the green, you've got to get the ball in the hole. We did that a couple times last night. We had good drives, moved the ball and then that one drive in particular, we were in solid position to get a touchdown and come out of it getting a field goal. You just can't afford to give away points like that.

Q: Do you think there were any nerves on Bishop's part?

B: I don't know if anybody was nervous last night. I'm sure they were but I think there was an anxiousness in looking forward to playing. We put a lot of sweat out there on the field. From the offseason programs to the mini-camp, to training camp, to Monday Night Football, and finally starting the season and playing against fresh faces. Seeing how it all works together. I think the players were excited, they were enthusiastic. I think being in Canton and the Hall of Fame, that whole experience was uplifting and I'm sure they were nervous, but there was also an enthusiasm for playing. That's what there should be, football is supposed to be fun.

Q: How much did everything going on contribute to your anxiety?

B: I don't think that it was an anxiety of being back. I've been on the sideline. Just seeing how our team would perform, that was really my anxiety. Just seeing how they do. I mean, you work on this stuff, and then you plan it, go over it in meetings and you know the other team is doing it too. You get to a point where you want to see how it's going to turn out. You want to see if the things that you emphasized are getting done. How your players react to the situations when they come up. Again, in our case how the coaching staff, how we operate as a team during the game. So there are a lot of things you want to see how they come together. Some of them are good, some of them are not good, but I think it was good enough again to the point where we can build on it and move forward.

Q: Is Bishop a guy you would consider playing during the regular season in addition to Drew?

B: Drew is our quarterback. There is no question about that. Drew's our quarterback. I'm just trying to get a feel for what Michael Bishop can do. I don't know what he can do. That's why we are putting him in there. To give him an opportunity to show what type of quarterback he is and what he is capable of doing. Once we find that out, and that's not just Michael Bishop, that's everybody. It's not a Michael Bishop thing, it goes for every player. Once we can see what they can do, how they do it and what their strengths are and what things we want to try and stay away from, then that will give us more information in how we can utilize a player.

Q: Is it worth making other teams think he'll play so they will have to prepare for both quarterbacks or do we overrate that type of thing?

B: I don't know how much rating you put on it, but I think in some respects it could be as confusing to your own team as to your opponents. I know that I've been around a couple situations where it's been undecided right up to the wire in who the quarterback is going to be and I don't know if that would be more discerning to our team than it was to the other team. I wasn't on the other team, but I know it was somewhat discerning to our team. I don't know.

Q: What is your assessment of Raymont Harris' performance last night?

B: Raymont played hard. He was physical. He ran well, he broke some tackles and made some extra yards. I thought he gave a good account of himself.

Q: What is the injury factor after last night, were there any new injuries? What's the story with (Tedy) Bruschi?

B: We had a couple of guys get banged up, but I don't think it was anything very serious. The doctors are going to take a look at (Bruschi) this afternoon when they come out, it was a pretty short night for everybody. It doesn't seem like anything very serious. It might be a day or so. Given the week that we are in, they might not be able to play, but I don't see anything really serious here. I can give you an update on it tomorrow. I really don't know myself today and we are not practicing today, we are just going out and stretching, getting a little movement back in and break a sweat, and that's it.

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