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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

BB: The Jets are certainly playing well - have a three game win streak, scoring points, not giving up many. They're doing a good job. A lot of the same people that we saw a month ago. I don't think there are a whole lot of new things, just they're doing a good job. It'll be a big challenge down there for us this week. I'm sure it will be a very lively crowd emotional atmosphere - at night, Sunday night so we have to do a good job of having a solid week of preparation and being ready to go against a good football team. Both teams know each other well, I'm sure there won't be a whole lot of surprises. It will come down to good solid football, whichever team does the best job executing [and] avoids any bad plays probably will certainly help their chances.  

Q: You guys switched centers a couple times on Sunday. One was immediately after Dan Connolly's high snap. Is that a situation that may continue or was that to reinforce the need for ball security?  

BB: We have confidence in both Ryan [Wendell] and Dan. Ryan, unfortunately hasn't had the opportunity to play a lot this year; he missed most of training camp. We feel like he's a good enough player that would deserve an opportunity to play - he's in there in some goal line situations and things like that. Going forward, if we get the opportunity and depending on how he performs with his opportunities, we may or may not do more than that. I'd say it's more of a case of him as a player as opposed to any problems with Dan's performance. I think Dan has done a good job for us and he's played well all year since he came in for [Dan] Koppen there in the first game. But Wendell is a good player too and I think he's more than just an emergency type of player - he's a guy that can help us too. We'll see how that goes.  

Q: You used different guys to return kicks this past week. Are you satisfied with the production out of that unit? Would you like to see better field position out of that group?  

BB: Absolutely. Our return game is not producing to the level that we would like it to be at. It's not reflective of any one individual - that's everybody. Like we talked about, we need to do a better job of coaching, we need to do a better job of blocking, we need to do a better job of running, setting up our blocks. We just need to do a better job all the way around. We're not getting enough out of that. We've been productive there in the past. That should be a solid area of our game that we should be getting more out of than what we are so we all just have to work harder to bring that level up.  

Q: We saw Devin McCourty back there as well. Was that more a situation with the game or are you anticipating using him more in that role?  

BB: Devin is ready to go on that every week. He's done it for us in the past. He's one of our fastest and most explosive players. It's something that he's always ready to do; he works on every week. We feel like there's the right situation for him in there, whether that's doing it for a game or doing it for a play or whatever it happens to be. I'm sure he'll be ready if he's called upon and he's done a good job for us doing that in the past. It will just depend on the game situation and what type of return game plan is for that particular game. I wouldn't expect to see him as our regular kickoff returner but could he be back there situationally? Sure.  

Q: Since Darrelle Revis shadowed Wes Welker, we've seen more teams do that. Do you think that's something that because more teams have put corners on Wes, that maybe that's something he's gotten better at? Obviously he had good stats in the Jets game so he did well there, but in the general sense.  

BB: Well, I don't know. I think Wes has worked against a lot of different coverage players - this year, last year, throughout his career so I think he's seen all the different styles of corners. Specifically, if you start naming names, he's played against an awful lot of those guys, whoever they are, whether it's on the perimeter in some of our two tight end sets which he's out there a lot or like he was in the 75-yard or whatever it was pass in the first game, he was the outside guy on that or whether he's the inside player and they bring in another guy or one of the outside guys comes inside to play in the slot, we've seen and then he's seen dozens and dozens of those players in those different combinations - safeties and linebackers walked out in coverage and safeties dropping down and corners coming inside and third corners coming into the game - all that stuff. I think it will be pretty hard, I'd be surprised if we went into the game and saw something that we haven't seen or worked against before. However the team chooses to defend us, we can't control that. We're ready for different combinations. We just need to match up and everybody takes a certain guy or do it different ways. At times, they matched Revis up against him in the first game, at times they didn't. They changed it up too. We saw that from Pittsburgh, we saw that last week against the Giants. I don't know. Maybe we'll see some type of just situational matchup coverage, I don't know.  

Q: A day later, do you have more information on Brandon Spikes or are you more hopeful now after his tests?  

BB: I think probably we need to give it just a little bit more time here. I saw him yesterday, he was in good spirits, feeling better. We'll see how things go today and then take another look at him tomorrow.  

Q: On his hit over the middle, we've seen so many flags this year on illegal hits and head shots and launching and all that and that was a good, hard, legal football hit. Does that just warm your heart?  

BB: That's what we always try to coach. We definitely don't ever coach players to hit above the shoulders or launch with the headgear - that's what the rule is and that's also an important part of playing aggressively but with good safety. Hopefully our players I think want to do things the right way and want to use the proper technique and so forth. Sometimes you run as fast as you can and you have to react very quickly to a throw and a receiver and a catch and hit the guy. It's not always exactly perfect. You just have to react as a football player but we try to teach those techniques and they practice them. I think for the most part they try to do it properly. I'd say it's not always perfect, sometimes it doesn't quite work out that way but that's what we try to do - we try to contact the receiver below the shoulders with our shoulder pad first. That's what Brandon did - made a good play on that, you're talking about the [Jake] Ballard play, yeah.  

Q: Could you talk about the situation behind Brandon Spikes if he can't play and the overall depth at that position?  

BB: As you know, Gary [Guyton] came in after Brandon went out. Jerod [Mayo] has played that position before. Dane [Fletcher] is coming along, hopefully he'll be making good progress and get back soon. We'll see where we are with everybody here on Wednesday but we'll take a look at the situation and try to get a hold on things today and tomorrow here as we get into midweek and see what it looks like the availability of everybody is and what our options are, if any.

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