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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Friday, August 19, 2011.

BB: We spent all morning and most of the afternoon reviewing the film and talking about as a staff how things went and [we are] trying to evaluate what happened last night and also make plans going forward for some things that we need to do, work on, some decisions we need to make and so forth. I thought overall last night that we obviously got off to a good start, which was great. We got some great field position defensively and our offense was able to capitalize on that and get some points on the board, get the ball in the end zone, played good in the red area. Overall we had a pretty good night in the red area and on third down. I think the score is a little bit deceiving. I think in the first half we still made a lot of…there's a lot of things we need to do better. In the second half, I think there were a lot of good things out there but a lot of those were negated by a few bad things. The score and the production and so forth looked like it shifted a lot from the first half to the second half but I would say, the overall play was probably not that far apart. The first half probably wasn't quite as good as it looked [and] the second half probably wasn't quite as bad as it looked. In any case, collectively as a team in all three phases of the game, we still have a lot of work to do, we have a lot of things we can do better and hopefully with this long week we have in front of us now with a couple extra days before the Detroit game, we'll be able to allocate more time to getting things done at a higher level and also putting in some new things and expanding our installation as we head closer to the start of the regular season. That's pretty much where we're at for this afternoon.  

Q: After looking at the film, what was the reason you were so effective pressuring quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson after that?  

BB: They played a lot of people. They had about three different groups on the offensive line. A couple times, when we pressured, it looked like they just had a breakdown in assignments. They just didn't block a guy. So we had a few of those. And then we had some good rushes up front at times and were able to beat some blockers and get pressure on the quarterback. But I would say it was a combination of things. A couple times, it was more them making a mistake than us making a great play. And there were times where we had good rushes when they should have had us blocked, but we were able to be disruptive with even an individual pass rush or a stunt that was called or something like that.  

Q: What was your assessment of Nate Solder's work?  

BB: I think Nate's had a couple of good weeks. I'm sure he learned a lot of things last night. [He] did some good things. I think he built on last week's game. There are still things that are coming up and that will continue to come up, I'm sure, on a weekly basis -- different matchups or different situations against a certain play that he'll learn from and hopefully be able to do it better the next time -- but he's making progress. He's working hard. I think he's competitive in every phase of the game: running game, pass protection, playing against athletic guys, playing against power and bigger guys. I think he can compete at all those levels. It's just gaining a little more experience, consistency, working together with his teammates so that we can execute better as a group when we're blocking two-on-two or three-on-three or four-on-four -- that everybody can see the same thing and get it done right. But he's making progress.  

Q: Kyle Love is a guy we have seen more and more of over the last couple of weeks. How would you assess his play to this point in the preseason?  

BB: I'd put Kyle in that whole group of second-year players. I think as a group those guys have certainly started this year at a much higher level than where they were at last year. They know more. They're more confident. They still have a long way to go, but a lot of their fundamentals and their basic understanding of the offensive and defensive systems is way ahead of where it was last year. And I think that results in players like Kyle playing more aggressively, playing at a faster pace, with more confidence – less hesitation about what to do and more aggressiveness in doing what their assignment is. And that usually comes with more confidence and a better understanding of the system and your techniques and just being able to cut it loose more and I think he's done a good job of that.  

Q: Were you interested in seeing how Mallett responded to throwing the interception and how do you think he responded?  

BB: Of course you don't want to see negative plays happen, but eventually they're going to happen in this league, so whether it was Tom [Brady] getting sacked in the two-minute drive or Ryan [Mallett] throwing an interception or Brian [Hoyer] throwing an interception that the corner dropped that would have been run back for a touchdown, you do want to see how players respond to those plays. Or a defensive player missing a tackle or giving up a completion, or a receiver dropping a ball and things like that. Look, that's unfortunately part of the game and seeing how people respond to that type of adversity or negative play; do they go in the tank? Does one bad play become two? Does one missed block become three? Or do they bounce back and right the ship and then settle down and do a better job? I think that's part of the evaluation with really all of our players and if they play enough they all have those plays. But it is interesting. We do talk about that, about how players respond when they have a bad play. How does that affect them on the coming plays? Ryan got a few blitzes there in the last series he was in. They gave him a couple of different looks: the weak safety look off the weak side, a couple of strong-side blitzes. He saw those plays pretty well after the interception, so I thought he did handle himself pretty well considering there were a couple of tough looks there. But again, overall, all the players, including every player that played in the game, we just all need to, and the coaches, too, we all need to play and coach with more consistency and more awareness and just sharpen it up. There's no other way to put it. We all just have to to sharpen up our skills. Luckily we have a couple more games to do that with in the preseason before we get to Miami, but I think we all need it.  

Q: Are you expecting Danny Woodhead or Bret Lockett to be out for any significant amount of time and do you have any updates?  

BB: No, I don't have any updates. We got in pretty late last night and we've been scrambling around today trying to get caught up on the film and all those kinds of things. So we'll see how they are when they come back in tomorrow. It usually takes 24-48 hours to sort things out, and then even then it becomes a day-to-day thing from there. So I don't really have any updates. Hopefully they'll be back sooner rather than later.  

Q: Why was Danny Woodhead playing on the punt unit in the fourth quarter?  

BB: When we go into any game, all players are told to be ready to play the entire 60 minutes. That's what a game is. We don't stop playing. We don't stop coaching. Everybody's ready to play the whole time from beginning to end. That's every player and every coach. That's part of the game. That's how we approach them all.  

Q: How did you feel Will Yeatman responded to the extended work?  

BB: OK. I think again there were some things that were good. There were some other things that need a lot of improvement. Will's coming off of a very limited amount of football experience in the last three years. He didn't play two and three years ago and last year he played in the fall but without spring practice. So this year he's starting it up again and the more he gets out there, the more he does things, the more confident and better technique-wise he does them. He's a good athlete. He's made a lot of progress, but he's got a lot of ground to make up just from a football-playing experience standpoint. But he's working hard to do that. Like last night there were some good signs and then again a lot of things he knows he still needs to work on.  

Q: We didn't see much of Brian Hoyer last night. Was that to get more of a look at Ryan Mallett because at this point you know what to expect out of Hoyer?  

BB: I think all three quarterbacks had a pretty decent number of snaps. By the time we get through practice and the preseason games and all that, we'll distribute snaps as much as we can to get an evaluation of the players the way we feel like we need to evaluate them.  

Q: Any update on the status of Albert Haynesworth and do you expect him back for the opener?  

BB: He's day-to-day.  

Q: Is he working out at Gillette Stadium? Is he on-campus? He hasn't been seen.  

BB: All the players are here.

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