BB: I will give you quick update on a few things from here. I think that you guys have the press release on some players that have been signed. Is that right? We signed a few players, if you don't have it I am sure Stacey [James] will get it to you. We've also signed some players and allocated them to Europe. We have also allocated three players from our current roster to Europe, Rohan Davey, Chas Gessner and Jamil Soriano. That is really about all of the roster information that I could give you at this point and that is only because that has to be done immediately. We have named Nick Caserio as our Director of Pro Personnel and that is effective immediately, which will include moving forward into free agency and all of that this year. Nick has worked in coaching and in scouting the previous three years and he has a good level of experience in all of those areas. With Coach [John] Hufnagel, I have talked to John a couple of times this week before he went to New York and subsequently, of course, we are disappointed to lose him but at the same time, it is an opportunity for him to move up professionally and we recognize that and wish him well and thank him for his contributions this season at the quarterback position. I know there has been some interest and talk about other coaches on our staff and various other situations. I really don't want to get into those because I really don't have anything to say about them. The quarterback-coaching situation is right now the staff is off. I don't have any plans to even address that for a while. As you know, John was an addition last year so we have been without it before and we have been with it. Charlie [Weis] and I will discuss that in due course. We have begun our preparations on the draft. Scott [Pioli] and the scouts are doing some draft work as we speak. That will lead up to the Indianapolis situation, which is less than two weeks away so we will be heading out there. We have a lot of catching up to do. There are a lot of team building opportunities coming up whether it be draft, our current players, free agents and so forth down the line. We will be working on all of those. Again, at this point, I really wouldn't be able to give much insight into anything [and] just to let you know that we are doing it. I am going to kind of keep my football routine going on Sunday for one more week and head down to Philadelphia this weekend to see the Philadelphia Soul, Jon Bon Jovi's team. He has been very successful in all of his ventures to this point. I am sure that this will be another one for him. I will be there for the Soul's opening day. I think that is pretty much where I am at this point. It is all yours.
Q: Bill, have you relaxed at all?
BB: A little bit. The parade was nice. I am just kind of getting back and getting reorganized a little bit. Right now this isn't really a vacation week or anything. We still have quite a few residual things left over from the '03 season and some things like the European allocations that need to be addressed currently. It is not the pace of the season, but there are still a few things to do.
Q: Are you going to pick up the option on Antowain Smith tomorrow?
BB: The only comments I have made are on the players that I could say anything on. There are a number of other situations and players in all different and various categories. When we have something we will give it to you.
Q: When you mentioned earlier that you had signed some players, were you referring only to the ones that you signed for Europe or have you made some other signings?
BB: We have signed six players that are not going to Europe, [Philip] Crosby, [Jack] Fadule, [Justin] Kurpeikis, [Malaefou] Mackenzie, [Frank] Moreau and [Marquise] Walker. I am sure you will get those on the release if you haven't had it. We have also signed six players that are being allocated to Europe and that is [Scott] Farley, [Lawrence] Flugence, [Mike] Hall, [Jason] Perry, [David] Pruce, and [Buck] Rasmussen. Those are the players that we are announcing today that have been signed.
Q: What are you looking for Rohan to get out of NFL Europe?
BB: Experience. There is no substitute for game experience. That is something that he hasn't gotten a lot of in his two years here. He has gotten some experience in practice and in preseason games and a few select opportunities but playing every play, practicing, preparing for games, game planning, game adjustments, those kinds of things, he hasn't done in two years and this will be an opportunity for him to experience those; game management, all of those types of things.
Q: Is there any one part of his game that you would like to see him improve on?
BB: Every part can improve. He wants to go to Europe and the reason why we think it will be good for him to go to Europe is to get game experience. That is what he can get there. We can't give him that in the offseason.
Q: If you guys had another game, would Eugene Wilson be able to play this week?
BB: I don't know.
Q: Is he on the injury report? I'm kidding. Can you get in on that at all? It looked like a pretty nasty injury on the replay.
BB: I don't know. I am not expecting any problems going forward in our next scheduled events. Let's put it that way but those are quite a way's off.
Q: Obviously when you look back to 2001 and what happened the following year in not making the playoffs but still coming fairly close, did you take the time to address the players at all or did you have any chance at all to address them in terms of what to be aware of in this offseason and how to maintain their focus especially with the adulation they are going to get as the world champions?
BB: I am not really sure.
Q: You mentioned before after the last Super Bowl you were set back as far preparation. With that experience behind you, did you guys do anything different this time around? I know you have to prepare for the Super Bowl but did you make any other alternate plans to keep things moving?
BB: Well, we always keep things moving and for this season, it is the same every year. We know when the playoff games are. We know when Indianapolis is. We know when the draft is. We know when the rookies can come to participate in the offseason program. All of those dates are set. You just have to manage them the best you can. When you are in the situation that we are, we are playing games and a year before we weren't playing games in that January and early February time frame. So you just have to take the time that you have and try to maximize your efficiency the best that you can. You can't change the scheduling of events. You just have to take them as they come and deal with them as efficiently as you can.
Q: The decision to promote Nick Caserio, you didn't have a director before if I am not mistaken. What are his duties and how do they relate to Scott as Vice President of Player Personnel?
BB: Nick handles Pro Personnel. That means that he handles the personnel of all the current pro players both in the National Football League, free agents who are not currently employed in the NFL and other professional football leagues where players could potential come into the NFL. He is in charge of all of that, all of those players, evaluating them, categorizing them, bringing them in for workouts, all of the things that go with that group of players which is distinguished from the college group which Thomas Dimitroff is in charge of our draft preparations with the college draft eligible players. That is how it is separated. Both of those people report to Scott who is in charge of the overall function of the personnel department.
Q: Did you feel it was better for the function of the personnel department to get a guy in the pro position to have two guys split up the duties? Was that just better for the overall function of the team?
BB: Yes. That is absolutely the way we felt.
Q: Have you watched the Super Bowl and broken it down and then watched it for enjoyment as well yet?
BB: I haven't.
Q: You haven't broken it down at all?
BB: I have not. No.
Q: At first blush, just what you saw on the sidelines, and the success that you had statistically, you went against a lot of top-flight front fours. During the week it was mentioned that Carolina's was as good as anyone's. If you just had to make a casual observation on how good a job your offensive line did, could you do that?
BB: Well, I think they did a solid job in all three of the post-season games. Certainly Carolina has an outstanding front four. They gave us some problems. But in the end, I think our offensive line and our backs and tight ends who were also involved in some of the blocking assignments on them and blitz pick up and pass protection and those kinds of things, overall they did a pretty solid job. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty solid and that was combined with receivers being open and available as passing targets for the quarterback and Tom [Brady] doing a good job of getting the ball out of there on time and to open people. Don't get me wrong, I think the offensive line did a solid job but anytime you are successful offensively, you need all of the parts to be synchronized in doing that and getting away from the tight coverage that Carolina employed by the receivers and the passing of the quarterback, those were all part of it as well.
Q: How long was it after the game before you watched the '01 Super Bowl?
BB: I don't know. Maybe a couple of weeks.
Q: Any reason you haven't watched it yet?
BB: Well, no. There is no reason. I have a lot of other things that need to be taken care of immediately. One of the things that we will do in February is to go back and break down not just the last game but the last two games or the last three games, but look at the entire season collectively and evaluate our performance in different areas, evaluate the trends as they occurred during the year and try to decide what areas we want to address in the off season to keep the same, to modify, to eliminate or try to improve on. That is part of the whole post-season evaluation process that we do every year. That will be in full swing when the coaches come back. That is when all of that will be fully addressed. We will try not to leave any stone unturned in terms of improving our performance going into next year.
Q: When do the coaches come back?
BB: They will be back before Indianapolis but then we have the combine to attend out there and then we will be back full time after that. We are in a little bit of a transition mode between coming back, preparing for the combine and being back full time after the combine. As you know, the combine comes in different segments with different players coming in on different days so you have certain groups of players in as early as Wednesday going to the following Tuesday, so it is staggered. It is hard to get everybody together as you a) deal with the combine and b) even prepare for it because everybody is on a little bit different schedule based on the player's availability.
Q: How much of a challenge is it to come off such, not only an emotional Super Bowl, but just a long consistent season and then have to turn around and make major personnel decisions so soon in less than a week after a Super Bowl? Is that a challenge to shift gears like that?
BB: It is, but that is the way it is. That is the way it was two years ago when we had to make decisions on the allocations for the Texans expansion draft. It is different but it is the same thing. The offseason is well underway for everybody else. We are jumping into it and we are jumping into late and we have a lot of catching up to do. But that is the reality. We are happy to be in this position. You will never hear any complaints about it. We are thrilled with the result of the 2003 season. We are into '04 and we have some catching up to do but we will jump up there on the treadmill and try to keep up the pace.
Q: How different was it winning a Super Bowl as a head coach versus winning it as an assistant coach and how much does that experience help you understand what you are in for this offseason?
BB: Well I think that anytime you are part of a team, whatever part you have, you enjoy the thrill of the team accomplishment whether it is head coach, assistant coach, or player, whatever it is. Everybody has a role to play and really nobody can do anybody else's job. I think you get the satisfaction and enjoyment of the achievement in whatever your role was. I was just as proud to wear a Super Bowl ring as a defensive coordinator in New York as I am to wear it here as a head coach. The responsibilities are different and the demands are different, there is no denying that, that comes with the position we all know and understand that. But when you are part of a team, I think you enjoy the accomplishment and the feeling that you get from winning a Super Bowl regardless of what your position is. It is still a thrill to be a part of it and you know you played a role it in.
Q: Was that the first time that you met [Dave] Letterman and how did he seem? It looked like you dodged his questions pretty well too.
BB: Oh, trying to slide one in there on me huh? [Laughter] It is the first time that I met him. The questions came pretty quickly a lot like they do from the Patriots beat writers. He fired them away pretty quickly. But it was fun. It was something that I hadn't experienced before so it was new. It was interesting to see the way the whole set up works and so forth. It was an interesting experience for me.
Q: Who came up with the 'abreast' line? Or did you come up with that?
BB: I just reacted to it. [Laughter]
Q: Aw, c'mon.Q: Bill, did Cindy Crawford leave you alone or was she kind of a pest?
BB: Yeah, they did it all in segments so when [Senator John] Edwards was out there, I wasn't. When I was out there, Cindy Crawford wasn't. But she looks fine. I wouldn't worry about that.
Q: [Laughter] Just one more, you mean to tell me you just came up with it on the fly, spontaneous, 'abreast' it wasn't planned at all?Q: He's witty. It is possible.
BB: Believe me, Letterman doesn't tell you what the questions are going to be, like, '[Here are] 20 questions, what are you going to say about them?' That isn't the way it works at all.
Q: Oh, okay.
BB: Give me a little bit of credit, you don't have to give me a lot.
Q: [Laughter] It was funny. I laughed, no doubt about it, but I am saying [to myself] he had to have that one in the bag.Q: Any reaction to the Maurice Clarett ruling?
BB: No. I have no comment on that. That is totally out of my hands. Let the courts deal with it.
Q: We know you aren't into comparing and ranking things but now that the season is over, you paid your guys a big compliment as far as getting prepared and doing things, following through, this group here, in your coaching career, were they probably the best group you have had in that regard?
BB: I would say the thing that stands out as much as anything about this season is the accomplishments number one. 15 in a row, Super Bowl victory, and all of the records and performances, the close games, all of the different types of close games that we have won, that really stands out. But as much as that, just the fact that there is nobody that wants to take the credit for it. Everybody played a role. It was important to us and nobody is out there saying, 'It was because of me and I am the guy,' and all of that. To me that is as rare as anything else that could happen. They complimented each other well. They were unselfish as a team and they achieved as a team and they spread the credit to everyone but themselves. You can go right down the line and take every single guy and really see him doing that. I think that is a credit to not only to the players, but their attitude and the way that that they see themselves as a unit whether it is coming out on the field or going off of the or talking about the game or the way they are in the locker room. That is just the way they are. From that standpoint it was a real pleasure for me to be with a group that was as unselfish as they were.
Q: Is that a top-down thing or is that something that the players do themselves?
BB: I don't think you can dictate that. You put people together on a team and their chemistry and their bonds and their relationships, they all form. You can't tell 70 guys how to act with one another and how to feel about one another and how to respond to different situations, that is all genuine. That comes from each individual on the team and how it all collectively blends together. You can't dictate and control all of that. I don't think there is any way. I think it was remarkable how this group of players handled so many different situations, performed under pressure, didn't crack, didn't lose their composure, played tough, they tried to play smart and were able to make plays at key times in almost every game in so many different areas. There are a lot of talented players that also have a lot of the attributes that you like. There is a lot of talent there when those guys stepped up and made them against top competition.
Q: Granted this is a copycat league, were you gratified in any way when you saw Carolina come out as one?
BB: I didn't see that. They were on the field when we came out. Honestly, I didn't see that. This is the first I've heard about it.
Q: Bill, where did you learn your dance moves from if you don't mind me asking?
BB: [Laughter] I didn't want to get involved in that. I saw the video from two years ago and I just couldn't…let's just say I broke down.
Q: Any chance you might tell us how had or is scheduled to have surgery? [Laughter]
Q: [Laughter] Good try though, man.
BB: I think [Rosevelt] Colvin had surgery.
Q: [Laughter] Are you going to, for lack of a better term, self-scout what you guys did after the 2001 Super Bowl to try to maybe see if you did something that you can avoid, any pitfall that you might have been caught up by after that one?
BB: I think that 2001 and 2002 seasons have already been pretty thoroughly analyzed during the time after those seasons ended and now we are in the process of doing the same thing with the '03 season moving into '04. I think those analyses were well researched, well thought out and we tried to make moves to improve the team and not all of them work out perfectly but that is what you do every year. We will go through the same process again this year.
Q: Was there any one phone call or person you met or situation you were in from the last two weeks was just so out of the ordinary that it will stick with you in one way or the other? Maybe Letterman?
BB: That was an interesting experience. I would say having dinner with former President Bush at the Houston Legends event on Monday night before the Super Bowl that was pretty special.
Q: What was your dad's feedback on this Super Bowl win?
BB: He was happy.
Q: Did he have anything to say, 'Bill, great job, this is better than '01?'
BB: I don't know about one Super Bowl being better than the other. They are all unique and they are all special. It is such a thrill to be part of a championship team and I think you enjoy that for what it is. I don't think you say, 'Well, this one wasn't as good as the last one.' You are thrilled to be in that position. I would say for myself and for my family that basically that was the sentiment from all of us. The thrill of being there and then the thrill of winning and being declared the champion in as competitive a league as the National Football League is. It is a big thrill. It is a big honor. I don't know any other way to express it.
Q: Are you going to do this with us every week?
BB: Well, we are going to be on the run here for a little while so I will try to catch up with you before the draft