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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

BB: Quick turnaround here; we're onto San Diego. I haven't had a chance to look at the Miami game yet. We're just trying to get things started on San Diego and move along there. I'll get to that later on tonight or maybe early tomorrow morning, we'll see how it goes. Of course it's good to go down there, play on the road, deal with all the conditions and all the things we had to deal with and come away with a win. It's great. It's good to be 1-0, but we have to put that behind us and turn our attention to the Chargers. And what they've done over the last decade, really, the consistency they've had as a team – last year their offense, their defense, they're well coached. They have a lot of good players, they've been very productive. I know we were pretty fortunate out there last year that we had a lot of turnovers and some breaks go our way, so we've got a lot to do against a good football team. We're just going to turn the page quickly and get onto them.  

Q: Can you talk about the role your strength and conditioning guys have when you play in conditions like that when it comes to keeping players hydrated and cramp-free?  

BB: I think it's a combination of things. We have a lot of people in our organization that perform different roles relative to the care, treatment and preparation of the physical part of our players. Our trainers, our nutritionist, our strength and conditioning coaches, so all that is a complementary effort to try to get our team in condition, get them hydrated, keep them with all the best things we can supply, do all the things that we can to get their game performance at an optimal level. That also carries over into practice and the tempo we practice at and the way the assistant coaches rotate the players and make sure they're getting enough work or giving them extra work if they don't get enough during the practice and all those kinds of things. It's not really a one-word answer. There are a lot of factors involved and guys are in various situations, or have been, through the course of preseason as to how much they've been able to do – actually practice on the field or how much they played in preseason games and so forth. Some guys get that kind of conditioning one way and other guys have to get it another if they participated less.  

Q: From a competitive standpoint, when late in the third quarter, early in the fourth quarter, you see their corners cramping up, does that make you want to go faster?  

BB: I think you have to be cognizant of where your players are at, where your team is at as well. Sure, you want to try to attack your opponent's weaknesses and they're trying to attack yours, but part of that is doing what you can do and making sure that the most important thing is to be able to go out there and execute what you want to get done. If you can't do it, then it can be the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't really go out there and do it, then it's not going to help you. We're playing a lot of the same guys pretty much all the way. We didn't substitute a lot offensively, a little bit but not really a lot, so we had to monitor our guys as well, but I thought we held up pretty well in the game. I'm not sure exactly how Miami did or didn't do. I was more focused with what we're doing although I saw some of their substitutions but a lot of those guys ended up coming back in. Like JT [Jason Taylor] went down there before the half and was right back out there in the third quarter. Sometimes that stuff clears up and sometimes it doesn't.  

Q: Given the unique challenges that are specific to this year with the lack of an offseason program, were you pretty happy with your offense's level of execution in Week 1?  

BB: I'm definitely, as I said, pleased that we could go down there and win as a team. There were things that we did well; there were certainly a lot of things we need to improve on and things we can do better. It's the first week of the season and hopefully if we can practice well and continue to do the right things in terms of preparation, then our execution levels will improve as the season goes along. Yeah, some things went well, but as I said after the game, I think we have a long way to go. There're a lot of things we need to do better and that's really going to be our focus – to work on the areas that we need to improve on and reinforce some the things that we did well and try to continue doing those. But again, try to do them at a little bit higher level. Again, I really think we have a long way to go here.  

Q: I guess some people thought that the passing game would be one area where the timing might be difficult to build. To have over 500 yards, I would think that would affirm the work the players did over the course of the summer and the efficiency with which you were able to get ready.  

BB: Well again, we'll see how it goes. That's one game and we'll see how it goes in the coming weeks against different competition, teams that scheme us differently, teams that have that game to look at it. We'll see how we're able to do against other challenges. I don't think you can make too much out of one night one way or the other.  

Q: With Dan Koppen going down and looking like he'll miss some time and you having promoted Thomas Welch before the game, does that take care of the offensive line depth issues or could you be looking to evaluate some other guys in the interior offensive line?  

BB: Well, that's something we do every week. We evaluate our roster and all our options every week, especially early in the season when there are more options available. With each succeeding week, options start to diminish; the players that are available – that number decreases, and so forth. Every week, we're looking at the players on our practice squad, we're looking at other players – that's what our personnel department does. It's a continuous evaluation of personnel and options and if you feel like there's a way you can improve your team, then I think you consider it. Sometimes you make a move, sometimes you don't, but that's something that Nick Caserio and his personnel staff do on a weekly basis. We talk about it in the early part of the week and talk about potential moves and workouts and things like that just to try to make sure that we have enough depth to play the upcoming games or games.  

Q: You mentioned there's still work to do offensively, but 620 yards is a lot of yards. Can you give us a little bit more clarification on what areas you need to improve on?  

BB: There are a lot of areas. We had the ball on the one-yard line ready to score a touchdown and we end up getting knocked out of field goal range and couldn't get a field goal before the half. We really weren't able to close out the game at the end of the game with a couple of first downs that we could have made. We stalled out there after the second quarter. The good thing was, offensively, whenever Miami scored or started to change the momentum of the game a little bit, our offense was able to come back and drive the ball and score points and change that momentum around, so that was great. But we still had things that we need to do better. There were some things that we got away with, with some substitutions. At times I don't think Miami was where they wanted to be or there was something on their side of the ball that wasn't quite right. And it's great that we could take advantage of it, but those opportunities won't always be there. I'm sure as teams get more experienced with their communication and get further into the season, you'll see less and less of that. We're just trying to keep ironing out all the little details and that's really across the board – its offense, defense, special teams. There're always things on every play, even good plays, that a lot of times aren't done quite properly and had the defense or the offense been in different play or done things a little bit differently, then we would have had a problem. You keep correcting those and try to get as many things right as possible. But I would include every position on that. Again, the coaching staff, all of us – we all did plenty of things in that game that we need to better. Some things we need to coach better and be more efficient on the sidelines in our communications and so forth. It was our first regular season game and like I said, it was nice to come out of it with a win, but we know week it's going to get tougher, especially with the Chargers this week –they're a real good football team. We're going to have to do everything right and that starts from the coaching staff and the players and all the other people associated with the team and all the way through. We have to try to make our operation as tight and at as high a level of performance as we possibly can. There's still a lot of room to improve there.

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