New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Friday, August 29, 2008.
BB: We have watched the game and moved on pretty quickly to meetings on roster decisions, personnel options and things like that. Of course there are a lot of different scenarios involved, not just the 53-man roster. It includes the practice squad; the various injured lists and this time of year there is a lot of conversation back and forth between not just our team, but all teams in the league about personnel movements from team to team. People interested in your players, you interested in their players and so forth and so on. [There are] a lot of moving parts and we are just trying to sort all of that out, look at the different scenarios and try to manage the situation the best that we can for this team. We still haven't decided exactly how we are going to handle the weekend and the early part of next week but we will let you know as soon as possible on that. I think you all got the notice on the four players that we did release today. That is what we have been doing today. It was a short night but we just have to push through it here and figure out our final roster decisions by 4 p.m. tomorrow and at the same time start getting ready for Kansas City.
Q: At the opening of the game, you won the coin toss and elected to receive. Is there a change in approach or was this a one-time thing?
BB: I don't know. We talked about that. I think there are some advantages to deferring but we have played in an awful lot of games where - when we win the toss, we take the ball and we have done well in a lot of those games as well. I don't know if there is anything to getting the ball and having first crack at it or giving it up and having that first possession in the second half. We just decided to go the way we have been doing it in all the previous years and either take the ball or defend the goal if we lost the toss and not get too creative here with the new situation.
Q: When you are making that decision [coin toss], how much of it is jumping on that team right away and setting a tone in the game? Would that be the reason for maybe not deferring the choice?
BB: Yes, taking the ball and having the first opportunity to score or create good field position. Our kickoff returns have been a little more productive lately. So you get the ball, have a good return, start off in decent field position and in worst case scenario you don't drive all the way down for a score you are still hopefully putting them on a long field and hoping that you can hold it that way. I mean it is not that big of a deal. It all turns out the same in the end anyway. Rather than going defense we felt that we would let our offense have a chance to go out there first. It is something they need to experience at some point anyway.
Q: On defensive headsets. How did it go this time as opposed to the previous game?
BB: We didn't really do all that much with it. We had a lot of guys in and out of there so it didn't seem like the best night for that equipment.
Q: Have you made any kind of decision going forward if you are going to use it [defensive headsets]?
BB: The only decision I could say is just we will do what is best for the defense. It might be using it in one way, A. It might be B, using it a different way. It might be C, only using it in no huddle situations. It might be D, switching players from one game to another. Right now, it is not that high of a priority. There are a lot of other things that are a high priority. So when we feel we've got that down - we have our substitutions, we know the pace of the game, who is in the game, when they are in and when they are out - maybe we will feel better about whatever decision it is we make. It is really hard to be giving information to somebody and you don't even know if they are in the game or not. Then other people rely on that information so that is really the bottom line. It is just a question on how to most efficiently use it. Like I said, for people to be counting on information and then they don't have it, it is almost better that they don't have it in the first place so they are not counting on it. Until we really can get a good comfort level with what we are doing and how it should flow smoothly, I don't think it is really in our best interest. You know how it goes with the quarterback where the coach calls in the play and he either doesn't hear it or maybe the coach didn't hit the button and he maybe only gets part of it. Then he looks over to the sideline and is trying to signal to let him know that he doesn't get it, [signaling] back and forth. It disrupts the flow a little bit when that happens. Atleast on offense you have control of the situation and you snap the ball when you want to. When that happens on defense when you think you got something and you don't have it - the button wasn't on or you didn't hear it clearly or something and you are trying to get the guy, who called it in, to repeat it and now here comes the other team out of the huddle and they are getting up over the line and what's the call? If that happens two or three times, I don't know if it is worth it for the twenty times it doesn't happen. Then you have a constant dysfunctional system. You don't know when it is going to work and when it isn't. That is a long answer but it is just not something that we are comfortable with yet for us as to how to utilize it most efficiently without it being a problem.
Q: How do you feel John Lynch has progressed over the two games?
BB: John did play quite a bit [last night]. He was in on a number of stops. I think he has progressively gotten more comfortable with what we are doing and the different communication with the other safety and sometimes the linebackers and corners on formation adjustments and coverage calls - all that type of thing. John and I talked about it the other day. I definitely think that he's feeling better about what he is doing and had a good opportunity to do it last night. That is kind of what we were looking for. That was one of the things we wanted to get out of the game was to give not only younger but newer guys experience. Let them play in our system and let them work through the problems and the communication that comes up.