Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, October 15, 2010.
Good trip back. Watching the film this morning. Things that stood out are the big plays, obviously in the game. Thought our team played really hard. Players did a good job of capitalizing on some mistakes, and making some huge plays in the football game. There are certainly things we still got to work on, and we kind of enjoyed the good feeling today, but now it's really time to move on and start to use the bye week as a time to improve our football team and start getting ready for Baltimore. We know what happened last time they came in here, so we got big challenges ahead. It was a good win. A good overall team effort, and I congratulate and compliment the players for their week of preparation and their performance last night.
Q: What is the plan for the bye week? What are the specifics of how you guys are going to work to get better?
BB: Players will be in on Thursday, so we'll start with them on Thursday and in the mean time the coaching staff will work on, today, tomorrow before the players get in, work on the things that we think will benefit our team both in the short and the long run. Lot of meetings, lot of film watching. Just kind of being able to sit back and take a little more time to discuss things than you usually have in a game plan type week where you're, I don't want to say scrambling, but you're on a tight schedule to get the scouting report and game plan, and adjustments and get all that done. Prepare for practice, and set up films and tapes that you want to show to the players to illustrate certain points that you're going to make for this particular game and all that. So that's the schedule that we're on weekly this week. It gives us a little bit more of a chance to take a longer, closer looks at some things. Less pressure [in] those game plan preparation meetings, practices that are always right around the corner.
Q: Jerod Mayo was credited with 16 tackles last night. Have you noticed anything different with Jerod the last two weeks?
BB: No, I don't think so. Jerod's one of our most consistent players. He's one of those guys that I think you know what you're going to get from him every single day of the week, Monday- Sunday. He's a very dedicated, professional player, hard working with good talent and good understanding of the game, and great competitive nature. He competes all through the week to get things right, to do things better, to understand what our opponents are doing, understand, what our game plan is, what adjustments need to be made, and so forth. He competes hard on Sunday, and I think that's where a lot of his consistency comes from in the games. He's so consistent on the other six days of the week in doing all the things that lead up to that and it shows up on Sunday. He's been in on a lot of tackles, and he's been a productive player for us and continues to be, and he's really consistent day-in and day-out.
Q: Could you talk about the mechanics and the X's and O's of how Patrick Chung got his blocks. What had to happen on the line to free him up in each instance?
BB: Well on the punt block he twisted and came underneath of Cunningham. Anytime you do a twist, sometimes they pick up both guys, sometimes they pick up one guy and let the other one go, sometimes [it's] vice versa. When you're on a punt block, you never really know how they're going to block it, if somebody will make a mistake. Everybody's got to be ready to go, and if we get the edge, or they're a little late reacting and we get through that gap on the line of scrimmage, then it could be any one of the eight guys rushing that could get the block. Again, on that play he twisted, Cunningham drew Carpenter's block, and Chung came underneath and was clean and took a good angle to the punter and used good technique blocking the ball. The same thing on the field goal rush. We were in an overload situation, they blocked down, whether he should have given more help outside or the wings should have closed it down a little bit more, or whatever, I'm not sure. But again, there was a little gap there, and the big thing was Patrick's technique getting through the line and flattening out, trying to get down the line of scrimmage, get his hands up right behind the center, which is where the ball travels, if it's a good kick. He was able to get through that seam and get to the proper spot to block it.
Q: What is it about Scott O'Brien's approach to special teams that allows him to get the most out of his guys, especially with his history, the success of the second year in leading the special teams group?
BB: Well my relationship with Scott goes back a long way, back to '91; it's almost been 20 years. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a football coach, period, but very good in the special teams area as well. I think he does a great job of coaching football players in whatever the capacity is. I think anytime that you're with a group of players for a year you just have a better understanding of their strengths, their weaknesses, and how different combinations work together and just what can work good with that particular group of players. There are always new players involved that there are some key guys to work around. I think he's [done] a real good job of putting guys in spots going back early into training camp, letting them work together, letting them progress, and grow and teach them the things that they need to do, their keys and techniques and so forth at those spots. And then we have production in preseason in our different phases of the kicking game, and we continue to have it. We've also had some breakdowns, but I think it's always easier the second year to have a little better feel for individuals and their aptitude and capacity and their skill set. He does a very good job of not only evaluating our opponents, but more importantly, evaluating the players that are on this team and putting them in good positions and getting the most out of them. The players work hard to make that happen. It's a good situation.
Q: Did you see anything in the Jets' successful punt block on the Dolphins last week that you took into the game last night?
BB: Sure. Yeah. We studied all the games. The three regular season games, the preseason games, and of course our games with them last year. Put all that in together, probably you take a little something out of every single game that you watch and study, even if it's something that somebody did that wasn't successful then it just gives you more of a confirmation that that's not really what you want to try to do as opposed to necessarily always copying what somebody else does, that you try to take something that you do that's part of your scheme that has an element of attacking the opponent maybe in a similar way that you've seen somebody else successfully attack them. So, sure I think all those games are important. The more recent ones are definitely ones that you probably study a little harder because of the personnel and some of the guys that played in preseason aren't there now, or aren't playing those spots, you have to take that into account even if the schemes the same. I'd say it's a composite, really a mosaic of putting together a game plan. You take your information from a lot of sources that you have available and then pull it all together, and again use the composite of all that information to decide what choices you want to make with your game plan schemes.
Q: Could you discuss Randy Moss' role, or how the offense was able to function as well as it did?
BB: The passing game last night is the same way the passing game has been for the last 10 years. When you call a pass pattern you have multiple receivers running various routes, and based on the coverage and the matchups, the quarterback decides where the best opportunity, leverage, space on a pattern is and that's who he throws to. That's the way it always is and that'll never really change. You don't tell a quarterback to go back and throw the ball to this guy on this play unless it's a screen pass. That's about the only one, otherwise you read the coverage out, you see where the defenders are, and you try to throw where there are fewer of them. That's the way it's been. That's the way it'll always be.
Q: In terms of having a bye week, is this the ideal time?
BB: I think everybody's glad when the bye week comes. The best thing about the bye week is going into it with a victory, like we did last night. But it wouldn't make any difference when it came. There would be things that we need to work on, there would be things that we need to prepare for going forward, and we would take that time to try to improve ourselves from where we're at and try to look forward to the problems that we're going to be facing in weeks ahead, and if we can get a jump on them, get a jump on them. Whenever it happens, that's a good opportunity for your team and [you] just try to take advantage of it. But I think you definitely don't mind it coming after a Monday night game on the road, that really would make this a short preparation week. And the fact that it comes here is a little bit of a benefit that we don't have to do that.
Q: The one pass that was thrown to Randy, was that practiced, is that Tom Brady's decision, is that someone yelling into his helmet to fake the spike and throw the fade on that play? How did that go about?
BB: We had different plays at the end of the half when we're trying to move the ball and conserve time. There's a lot of different plays depending on where we are on the field, how much yardage we feel like we need to get into field goal range, or if we have to score a touchdown, whether we have timeouts or not. In terms of getting out of bounds, or staying in bounds and using a timeout, all those types of things, the different situational plays. We use those plays based on the factors that I just mentioned. It's always the quarterback's decision when the ball leaves his hand who to throw it to, so even if you call a play it's his decision to decide whether he can complete the pass or if he's pressured, or he has to throw it away whether to throw the ball in a certain area even though that might be kind of the primary side, or the side that we think is going to be the best place to throw to, it may in fact not be that because of something the defense does. Then he has to make another decision. It's always the quarterbacks decision to throw the ball, and it's a combination of coaching and quarterbacks in two minutes to decide which play to run, and what the best way to try to gain yardage and use the least amount of time, or considering your timeouts, how to manage that situation as efficiently as possible.
Q: As young as this defense is, what do you take out of nights like last night?
BB: I think last night was a lot like the first three games. You come out of the game feeling good about some things, things that were executed well. [I] think you feel overall that you're making improvements in certain areas, and there are still other areas that aren't as consistent, or as efficient as you would like for them to be. I think when we went through the film this morning and talked about it as a staff that we kind of feel like we felt last week and the week before at the Jets. Obviously the results are important. That's what we play for. But the analysis and breakdown of each individual play is on its own merit and when it's good you try to reinforce it and build on it, and when it isn't, you either correct it or if you have to change it, you change it to find a way for it to be a productive play. I'd say it's pretty much about the same as it was the last three weeks.
Q: Is there ever a time when you use an outside influence to motivate your guys?
BB: I think every time you go into a game you want to try to go into it with a mindset that you're going to put everything into it that you possibly can. We play 16 regular season games, and every one of them is important. Sometimes each game has it's own little element, special element that makes it unique from the other 15. And sometimes those can be a little positive push or motivation, or whatever term you want to call it there. So sure, I think some things like that exist from time to time, but in the end once the ball's kicked off and the game starts, it really comes down to a lot of good execution. I think that the motivating part of it is probably a little overrated relative to the players execution and performance. The success that we had last night, I would attribute to the players and their performance and the job they did on the field. Sometimes each guy's personal motivation can be a little bit different from game to game. Their match up against another opponent, it could be a whole variety of things. Where they're playing, or who they're playing against, or what happened the last time they played against a player, or that team, or whatever happened. Each one is unique and independent.
Q: What were your impressions of Dane Fletcher and Brandon Deaderick playing in their first games of the season?
BB: I thought they both did some positive things. Some learning experiences, but Dane was involved primarily in the kicking game, and then got some opportunities on defense at the end of the game. Deaderick played in some different situations defensively. I think they both helped us at times, and then there were other plays that they're going to learn from and hopefully they'll be better the next time they get an opportunity to do those. On balance, it was certainly positive having them at the game and having them contribute.
Q: On his reaction to the Dolphins firing their special teams coach, John Bonamego, this morning?
BB: Well, I don't think much of anything that happens in the league these days is a surprise or unheard of. It's unfortunate, I think, in a way, but honestly I'm just worried about our team and what we're doing. I'm sure that what any other team does is what they feel like is in the best interest of their football team, and I respect that. I'm sure those decisions aren't easy.