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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the Seattle media during his conference call on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

(On his impressions of the Seattle defense…) "Impressions are really good. They're a top defense in the league for a good reason. First of all, they're very well coached. Pete does a great job, we all know that. They're strong against the run, taking the ball away a lot, causing a lot of fumbles. They have a real good pass rush, good pass defenders, a lot of good players. I'm really impressed with the front; Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane do a great job in the running game. Alan Branch is solid in there too as well as Jason Jones, Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin, and Greg Scruggs. Those guys can all rush the passer. The linebackers are fast, Leroy Hill, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright those guys get to a lot of balls, they don't get blocked very often and they close space in a hurry. They probably have the biggest corners in the league. Marcus Trufant is an outstanding player who comes in for them on the nickel. Kam Chancellor is a big physical force in there at safety, and Earl Thomas is probably as good a safety as we played against. He has great instinct, vision, speed, and ball skills. He's a real playmaker for them back in the secondary. Good, well coached with a lot of good players, good depth at every position, and they're a real good defensive team. There's no doubt about it."

(On the run game…) "We had a lot of turnover at the running back position in the last three or four years. We basically had the oldest running back in the league when we had Fred Taylor, Kevin Faulk, and Sammy Morris. That position has turned over with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vareen, Brandon Bolden, and Danny Woodhead. With the plays, a lot of the plays are week to week game plan things on what we feel like, how we can attack the opponent, what happens in the game whether they adjust or if we can stay with what we'd thought we'd be able to do or do we have to change it. A lot of those plays are really planned on how we match up with that particular team."

(On if the increase in the running game has any effect on Rob Gronkowski….) "Rob has done a good job for us which he has in the past. It's the third year we've had him and he's been a good run blocker for us. Our offensive line, our tight ends, and our back have all done a good job when they have been called on. All of our backs have been productive, and again sometimes those plays have looked better against certain defenses than others. If we have to throw it we'll throw it, if we have to run it, hopefully we'll be able to run it."

(On the up-tempo pace of offense that they ran last week…) "We've been using that for several years now so it's not anything that we haven't done before. Sometimes we do more or less of it, similar to what we talked about earlier with game planning and matchups against a particular opponent. If we feel like there's an advantage to doing it, then we'll do it, and if we feel like there's an advantage to not doing it, to be able to do something else than we're willing to do something else."

(On if being on the road changes their ability to communicate and be able to communicate and do what they want to do offensively…) "Again we play plenty of games at home and plenty of games on the road. We have our way with dealing with it on the road, and we have our way with dealing with it at home. Obviously the noise level is different so that can involve relaying calls from one person to another as opposed to everyone being able to hear them from the quarterback. Sometimes it involves signaling or sometimes we have plays called in other manners so that we can communicate it. We have variant ways to communicate that, and I think that's part of what we try to do, to not do it the same way every time so that opponents can't get a steady read on the tempo or the communication because what we're doing is not always the same."

(On how does the no-huddle affect his offense…) "Offensively the two big things are one, conditioning because you're running plays quicker so your cardiovascular system has to work harder because you're going faster and there is less rest in between plays. Two is you have to think quicker. You don't have much time to think about the play coming out of the huddle and getting to the line, getting set up and all that. You hear the play, you get there, you have to see the defense and make whatever communication you have, blocking calls, play adjustments or whatever it is, and then be ready to go. It just accelerates everything. The communication, the recognition, the assignments when the ball is snapped, and obviously physically you are running more plays in a short amount of time so there is a little bit more affect it can have there."

(On if he has reinvented himself as a coach after he left Cleveland…) "No."

(On his thoughts of the Seattle offense and what are his challenges in facing them…) "Sure the run game is a big part of it, but there is a lot more to it than that. They have a good offensive line, and good depth on the offensive line, they used a number of different players in there. They started off playing J.R. Sweezy and then John Moffitt got back in there. Paul McQuistan and James Carpenter have all played in there at guard. They have good depth on the offensive line, I think it's a tough group, and those guys play hard. The backs run hard. Marshawn Lynch is a great back there is no question about that. He's as good a back as we'll face all season. Robert Turbin comes in there and does a great job for him so there is definitely a big threat there in the run game which kind of opens up everything else in the offense. The play action pass and the bootlegs have gotten the ball to Sidney Rice and Golden Tate. It hit Tate on a big play action pass against Green Bay for a touchdown. Hit a bunch of passes to Rice, the play action pass, the bootleg, over routes, corner routes, and things like that. They definitely use the tight ends in the passing game as well. Of course Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy are both solid guys, they're both productive, and Evan Moore is a rally good receiver too, we faced him in Cleveland. I think they have good talent there at all the position. They run a good complimentary offense, they control the ball. They force you to stop the run, and when you do that, that opens up some other things for them. Russell Wilson has done a good job on some of the moving pocket plays. Certainly he's a threat to run if you don't contain him, but he's also a good passer. He's made a number of plays, particularly on play action. On third down they spread the field and give you some three open and empty looks. They use the principles of the west coast passing game which we all know are fundamentally sound and proven over the years. So we have a lot of things to stop. We have the running game, the passing game, the west coast passing game, their spread empty game, and the running quarterback. They hit you with a lot of different things, and combined with their overall production in the kicking game, which has been outstanding, and defensively they have been outstanding, the whole complimentary game that they play in all three phases, I think is a very good one."

(On Tom Brady…) "I think Tom is a very talented player who makes good decisions, sees the field well, and throws the ball accurately, and he has a lot of experience. Most of the things that he's doing at this point, he's done at other points in his career with experience, and probably with a good degree of success along the line. He's a smart guy, he works very hard, and he has good quarterbacking skills. If you put those things together, that's a good place to start as far as being productive at that position."

(On Russell Wilson and him being a rookie and how did he protect Tom Brady in a similar situation with him being a young quarterback and the play calling…) "I think it's really hard to compare quarterbacks in different systems with different players around them. Everything is unique. I just think as a coach you try to do what's best for your football team. Just speaking for the Patriots in our situation, there were times where we were a very strong defensive team and we played to the strengths of our defense. There were we felt we were string offensively and we played to the strength of our offense. I think that's what any coach does with any team. You play to the strength of your team and you count on everybody, but there are certain parts of your team that our strong and you play to those strengths. I think comparing quarterbacks is dangerous and when you compare them in different systems with different teams against different opponents with different matchups every week, I think that's just really hard to do. I wouldn't be very good at it. I think what you do as a coach is you try to take the players that you have, you figure out what their strengths are, and you play to their strengths. You try to improve the things that they don't do as well individually or as a unit or as a team and those things eventually come better if you work at them. That's what we do on our team and I think that's probably what every coach does on every team."

(On player safety and if enough is done to protect defensive players…) "I think you should talk to the people in the league with that. The competition committee or whoever spends more time on that than me. Really I'm just trying to coach my team and hopefully get them to play better and execute better as a team each week. As far as the rules and officiating and everything else that goes, it's really not my area. I try to understand and coach to what the specifications and the rules are, but it's not job to make them, it's not my job to officiate them, it's my job to coach this team. That's where I'm going to put my energy."

(On Alex Karras passing today and any recollection of him as a player…) "Sure. He was one of the guys that when I was growing up it was one of the football cards that I had and played with. He was a great player in a great era. Really the growth period there when professional football started to catch up to and overtake college football, and he was a big part of it. He was a great player."

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