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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript 9/21

[wysifield-embeddedaudio|eid="361471"|type="embeddedaudio"|view_mode="full"]Q: Was yesterday Aaron Dobson's best game since his rookie season?

BB: All the questions about any specific players, it's all going to be about the same thing. I thought we did a lot of things well as a team. I think individually we had a lot of plays that were good plays and some individuals that had good plays, but I don't think we were consistent enough really in any area. We left a lot of plays out on the field. There were some things that we did well at times, but then we didn't do well at other times. Sometimes it was pretty much the same thing. And that is kind of true for all the players. Obviously, we had a lot of yardage in the passing game yesterday, so there is an illusion that it was great, but considering the number of times we threw it and some of the inefficiencies we had, I wouldn't put it in that category. Or that the running game wasn't that because of the number of times we ran it, yet there were times when we had real good production from it and we needed it, but we didn't do it as much. I think there are just a lot of things we can improve on individually and with each unit, and that's the coaching as well as the playing in all three phases of the game. So, any individual player, it's all going to come back to the same thing for each guy because everybody who played had things that they definitely could've done better that would've helped us, including me and the coaches. We did some good things – did enough to win and it's good to win – but there are a lot of things we can improve on and do better.

Q: Facing a mobile quarterback like Tyrod Taylor, how do you think the defense graded out communication-wise?

BB: When he got out of the pocket, it didn't grade out very well at all. We didn't do a good job. I'm not even talking about the designed plays where there are bootlegs and things like that. The plays where he dropped back and we kept him in the pocket, we did a lot better than when he got out, whether it was him running or him extending the play and then throwing the ball to somebody that we either didn't cover or dropped our coverage on or didn't match up properly or whatever. That's the responsibility of the rushers to not let those plays get extended, and it's the responsibility of the players in coverage to finish the play. There is no time limit on those, and we knew that was going to be a part of the game. Some of it we handled well – we had turnovers and we hit the quarterback. Some if it we didn't handle well and they made plays. It was a little bit of both.

Q: Did you see good things out of your players in terms of development?

BB: We've just got to do a better job of it for 60 minutes, that's all. It wasn't anything that [was] just one guy or one play or one formation or whatever. It was just, at times it was good and at times it wasn't. I'd have a hard time giving you an explanation for why this one was good and why that one wasn't other than our overall execution and awareness on that particular play. They look similar, but they were different, and we need to make them all more consistent.

Q: The touchdown to Rob Gronkowski looked similar to the formation we saw last week. What did you see on that play?

BB: I'm not sure exactly what happened on their end. It looked like they were trying to go three-on-two over there to the slot side and they didn't get it, and Rob got inside. The rest of the game they did go three-on-two on that. It's probably what they were trying to do on that play, but they did go three-on-two, and we ended up a couple times going back to the other side to Scott Chandler, where the one-on-one matchup was. But we unfortunately didn't hit it. But they went three-on-two on those plays as well over to the slot side. So, I think that's what they were trying to do, but Rob got inside on it and Tom [Brady] hit him. It was a pretty easy touchdown. That's what it looked like to me.

Q: How difficult is it to take advantage of a particular look or formation when you've already put it on film and the other team has seen it?

BB: I'd say it's a pretty common problem. Anytime you put something new out there that you haven't done before, it's hard to know exactly what you're going to get. A lot of times what you practice against is different than what actually happens in the game. Sometimes they have trouble getting even to what they want to get to because it might be new or something they haven't seen before. So you have to be ready to handle whatever it is they do. You have to just run the play out and have the quarterback or whoever the person is that has the key reads on the play read it out, and based on what they see make the right decision. If you've shown something, and like the example you're giving, where you show something and then you come back to it the next time, it's sort of the same thing. They know what you've done. If they don't stop it, maybe you go to it, but if they do stop it, then you need to have another option somewhere. Once you can hit multiple options on the same type of thing, then you've really got the defense in a tough spot. If you can only do one thing, then any good defense is going to take that away as soon they see what you're trying to do. So, you've got to be able to have some type of complementary play to go with it or some complementary play that takes a coverage matchup – if they take away one guy that you have somewhere else to throw the ball.

Q: How do you think the secondary has adjusted to different game plans through the first two weeks of the season?

BB: Again, as I said at the beginning, we had our moments. We had several series there where we're three-and-out, and then we had other series where we weren't and we gave up big plays and we gave up 32 points. That's kind of the way we've been these first two games in every position, whether it be the secondary or pretty much anything else. There have been some good things – good enough to win a couple games and beat a couple good teams – but it's not consistent and there is a lot of room for improvement. That's where I think we are.

Q: Was there a specific adjustment you made on defense after the Bills first drive? They couldn't move the football very well for most of the game after that successful scoring drive.

BB: They hit us on a number of plays on that first drive. It wasn't just one thing. They got us on the quarterback scramble, they got us on a couple short passes, and then they got us on the bootleg at the end. A couple of their other big plays later in the game came just on go-routes on the interference call and then the one that they hit for a touchdown to [Sammy] Watkins in the fourth quarter. But on that first drive, it was a combination of some runs, a quarterback scramble, a couple passes. It wasn't like we were just talking about one play there. We had a number of things. I think what helped us, we had some negative plays, we were able to create some long-yardage situations, and as I said, when Taylor was in the pocket, even though he made a couple plays obviously, he hurt us a lot less than when he got outside of the pocket. We did a better job of controlling him in that second quarter than let's say we did in the fourth quarter for an example.

Q: With the way the league is trending with the passing game, how much do you expect that Tom Brady is going to be throwing the ball on the majority of plays?

BB: Well, we go into each game trying to game plan and do what we think is best and then as we get into the game sometimes that can change a little bit based on how the game is going situationally and also what the matchups are or what's working and what isn't. I think when you look around the league, last year there might have been two teams in the league – maybe it was one, I don't know – but not many that threw the ball less than they ran it. So, basically every team is over 50 percent passing. Some teams were up around 70 percent if I remember correctly – like the Bears, teams like that. That was last year. But that's the kind of the general trend in the league. A lot of plays are based on run-pass checks in the league, so teams get into more coverage positions, sometimes that invites the run and vice versa. It's really hard to go into a game and say we're going to do this this many times or do this that many times. Each game is different, and as you get into the game it just depends on how the game is unfolding and the score and the situations, but also how the matchups are working with the personnel you're facing and what type of defenses or coverages or pressures they're using and how you want to try to attack those. That's kind of a long answer to a short question, but the bottom line is if it works out that we're balanced, that's fine, it's great, but if it works out that we're favoring more of one than the other, then if that's working that's fine, too. We had a game against – it was circumstantial, but the Buffalo game in '08 or when we played Buffalo in the rain here a couple years ago, those were games that were tilted very heavily to the running game because of the conditions of the game. You can draw up all the pass plays you want, but when the conditions are such that you really can't execute them, then you have to find something else to do. We want to try to take advantage of our skill players and all of our players on offense – our run blockers, our skill guys in the passing game, our runners in the running game. So, however we feel is the best way to do that and gives us the best opportunity, then that's what we're going to try to do on a daily basis. And it changes from week to week. We'll just have to be prepared for the game to go however it goes, and then once we get into it adjust and do what we feel like is best in that particular situation.

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