Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, September 7, 2010.
BB: We're full steam ahead here on the Bengals. They're a very impressive team. We've seen a lot of them. We've seen a lot of them from last year and then of course added in the preseason games this year to stay on top of everything. They do a real good job from top to bottom. [They're] well-coached, fast, athletic on defense. They've added some fire power on the offensive side of the ball. [They have] a good running game and some good receivers and kick returners and they're very strong on the return game on special teams. It's a lot to get ready for. [It's a] tough opener, but they all are. All those opening games are tough just [with] the amount of preparation and all the different things that can happen. It all settles down in a little while here, but right now we are doing scouting reports on a lot of games and a lot of information. I'm sure they're doing the same thing. We're closing in on our practice squad, so that is coming together. There's still a little more work to do there. We're closing in on that. That's the update.
Q: You probably get asked this before every first game, but have you guys worked on contingency things that they may or may not unveil in the first game - stuff they've been working on and sort of saving? How do you prepare for that?
BB: That's a good question. I don't think you want to spend a lot of your time defending ghosts. At the same time, you do want to be prepared for things that you think might happen or particularly things you think have a high probability of happening, even though they haven't shown them, based on history or whatever the circumstances are. It's a balancing act, but I think you have to be careful about spending all your time defending something that has never happened, versus things that they're good at, especially a team that's as successful as the Bengals have been. I don't think they really need or want to change a whole lot. It's gone pretty well for them. They've done very well and I'm sure they have a lot of confidence in what they're doing and I'm sure they'll want to run the things that they've had a lot of practice running or working on. Will they have some hidden things for the game? I'm sure they will. You've just got to be alert for those kind of things, but you've got to be careful about spending all your time worrying about something they've never shown.
Q: There was some talk this morning that a possible contract extension was afoot for Tom Brady.
BB: I don't have anything to report on any contracts.
Q: I know I asked you this last week, but with the timing with everything, if any contract is going to happen with any player, does it behoove the team and the player to get it done before the season opener and not have anything extend into the season?
BB: You can use the same answer I used last week. If it's the same question I'd give you the same answer, how about that?
Q: When you first started coaching, it was not unusual for players to spend their entire career with one team, but now with free agency it's becoming less common. Would there be a certain pride for you or the team if Tom Brady were able to spend his entire career here?
BB: Right now, really our focus is on the Bengals. That's what we're working on. As far as a lot of future planning and contracts and all of that, I'm not really going to get into those now. Our focus is on the Bengals and that's where we're going to keep it.
Q: What does it mean for a team to have a quarterback like Brady, so consistent year after year? What does it do for an offense or a team to have his presence there?
BB: It's always good to have consistency on your team at every position and every unit. Certainly quarterback is in that category.
Q: Randy Moss mentioned that he wants to feel more wanted, as he is entering the last year of his contract.
BB: I would just say on Randy that he is a professional. He's had a good training camp. He's played very well since he's been here. He's played at a very high level and I hope that continues. He's brought a lot of passion to the game - for the game - since he's been here. He's well liked and he's well respected on the team.
Q: Do you expect that whatever he is feeling or not feeling won't play out into season and become a distraction for him?
BB: I think I just answered that. As I said, he has been very professional. He's been very productive for us. He is well liked by his teammates and he brings good energy to the field.
Q: Were you surprised that he said he was feeling unhappy or unwanted by the team?
BB: He didn't say that to me, so I don't really have any comment on that.
Q: You mentioned the offensive fire power the Bengals have added. Can you talk about some of their skill guys? What do you see productivity wise from them?
BB: Offensively, the addition of - in the draft - [Jermaine] Gresham gives them gives them a very athletic tight end. [He] runs well and has made some big plays down the field in the passing game. He can run after the catch. [He's] long [and] has good length as a blocker. I think he's shown up in preseason and has been productive. [Jordan] Shipley, both in the passing game and the kick return game has been productive for them as well. [Andre] Caldwell, although he's not a rookie, he continues to show up as a younger player in the offense as well. So I think they have a lot of confidence in those younger guys. It's helped their offense. It's helped their passing game. The passing game has helped the running game. Shipley has helped them in the return game, as has [Bernard] Scott, who is another second year player. They have a lot of skill in those areas and that showed up in the end of the year last year. With Shipley and Gresham, those two guys have had an impact. T.O. [Terrell Owens], they've used him. He's played a lot in the preseason games opposite of Chad [Ochocinco]. I think he complements Chad. I think their skills complement each other. They're both good outside variable threats. They're both dangerous with the ball in their hands after the catch, and so that has opened up some things inside for Shipley and Gresham in the running game. And Shipley and Gresham in the running game have opened up some things outside for Chad and T.O. And they've got a good quarterback and a good offensive system, so they're tough to defend because they have a lot of weapons. There are a lot of things you've got to get ready for.