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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript: 'Good win for us yesterday'

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during a conference call on Monday, October 13, 2014.


BB:** Well, it was a good win for us yesterday. I thought all three phases of our team contributed. It was a hard-fought game. The Bills are tough. They're a physical football team and I'm just really proud of the way our players hung in there and battled them toe-to-toe all the way through for 60 minutes. It's a quick turnaround for us. Fortunately it was a pretty short flight back. So, we're able to move on to the Jets here quickly and we need to do that. Today is kind of like a Thursday for us on a Sunday game. We have to really put our foot on the gas pedal here and open it up full throttle and get into the Jets. We don't really have too much time to spend on the Buffalo game with players and the staff and all that. We'll have to go back and get that in a little more detail later. But right now we just have to turn the page and get on to the Jets. I thought they played very competitively against Denver. They really battled them all the way, had a chance at the end, got the ball back a couple times, just weren't able to quite finish it. But I thought they really hung in there and played very competitively with [what] we know is a very good football team in Denver. I'm sure we'll get that same type of play from them Thursday night.

Q: Given the importance of Jerod Mayo to the team, how do you start to fill the void of what he brings to the team?

BB: Well, it already happened yesterday. So, we're just going to have to get contributions from other guys – some at the linebacker position and some at other positions as well. We'll see how it all comes together. We'll keep our fingers crossed for him and see exactly what his situation is. We have to be ready to move on without him. So, we'll have to look to, I'd say, multiple groups [and] multiple players to do some of the things that he did. There's no one guy who is going to, on this team, do what Jerod did. We're lucky to have him, let alone another guy that can do all that too. It will have to come from a combination of guys somehow.

Q: When you guys play man-to-man coverage as it appeared you did yesterday and last week, how does that affect what the safeties do, if they aren't one of those players matched up? Does it all simplify what they have to do?

BB: Well, it depends on what their responsibility is on that play. A lot of times they have some type of responsibility to help on one side or towards a particular player or particular part of the formation depending on who their best players are on the other team or the guys we think they might be going to in that situation. There are some times when they're free and don't have any responsibility other than to read the quarterback and go to where the quarterback takes them. It would really depend on the call. If you're in a three-deep zone coverage and you're playing zone, the middle of the field safety is zone's responsibilities are very, very similar to what they would be if you were playing man-to-man and he was in the middle of the field. Of course, as you said, if he ends up being matched up on a man because of the formation or the call or whatever, then he's man-to-man just like the other guys are in that coverage. There's some variance on that depending on what you want to try to tell him to do. If you want to just tell him to read the quarterback and go to the ball, you could certainly do that. If you want to have him favor somebody so that defender knows that he's getting some extra help from that safety, then you could do that. But that also means that if you're in man-to-man coverage and you're away from the guy that the safety is helping, then you basically have no help. There are a number of different ways to do it and there's probably a place for all of them.

Q: How influential was Mike Lombardi's opinion of Brian Tyms before you guys signed him? I know Mike was in Cleveland while Brian was there.

BB: Yeah, it definitely helped. Yeah, it definitely helped. We didn't really know a lot about him but I think we were kind of surprised that he was available, especially given Cleveland's receiver situation after they had a couple things happen up there. In training camp obviously we knew about the four games that he would miss but felt like he would be a competitive player for us in camp and he was all that and now he's on the roster. Yeah, it definitely helped us, helped lead us to him. I would say Tyms has really done a good job of – I mean, he's come in and worked really hard. He's one of the first guys here and last guys to leave. He's really diligent about his work and preparation. Even in the time that he missed, as soon as that was over and he came back, he was right here at 6:30 in the morning ready to watch film, work out, get back into it. He's kind of been like that since he returned a couple weeks ago, or the week prior to the Cincinnati game. He's been a real hardworking, diligent, do-extra type of kid that's been good to be around. He brings a lot of good energy to the team and to the position and just his approach to the game. I like having him on the team.

Q: On that touchdown, there was some pretty tight coverage there. I noticed Tom Brady made a play-action fake before he threw the ball. Did you see that play-action open up a window? Did you notice that action open up the play?

BB: Yeah, it was actually, believe it or not, kind of the way we thought it might go, the way we practiced it. They were in a quarters coverage and we were in a balanced set. From the quarterback's point of view, [Julian] Edelman ran an over route from the right side and the corner and the safety on the right side collapsed on him, which they really should do. There was no other receiver, the tight ends were run blocking and they were part of the play-action fake. [Stevan] Ridley checked through the line of scrimmage so the two guys of the right were kind of tied up on Edelman's over route and Graham was on the left and he stepped up on the run fake and Tyms I would say got about even with him. [Stephon] Gilmore was playing outside and Tyms was able to climb and get on top of [Corey] Graham and Gilmore was to the outside of him. So, even though the coverage looked tight, I mean it was tight, I'm not saying that. It was tight, but I think the key for Tom was when Tyms was able to get past Graham and he definitely was able to get over the top of him and he had Graham, he was behind Graham so Tom just threw the ball up away from Gilmore and Gilmore just couldn't get over the top of Brian on the catch. I think the key really was the play-action just forcing Graham to step up a little bit so that Tyms could get behind him and then Tom just put the ball away from Gilmore and the ball was between – Tyms was between the ball and Gilmore. There was no way that Gilmore could get it. It was over the top of Graham. But you're right, it was pretty tight coverage but once Brian got behind Graham, I think that was the key and then Tom was just able to put it out there and let him go get it. Then the backside was already committed close enough to the over route by Edelman. [Leodis] McKelvin kind of broke on it late but it was over top of him too. We thought we had some opportunities in the game to get the ball down the field. It was great to see us do that. The interference on the wheel route to Edelman, without that call that might have been a touchdown. That was going to be a close play when [Duke] Williams came over and knocked Edelman down. [It] put the ball on the one-yard line. We were able to get the ball down the field to numerous receivers – [Brandon] LaFell, Edelman, Rob [Gronkowski], Tyms. We felt like we were able to take advantage of some of those opportunities. Between the pass protection, which on that particular play that you talked about there, the touchdown to Tyms, the pass protection was really good. Everybody was kind of washed over to the right side. Tom had a big lane to step up and deliver the ball. So, it was a combination of good protection and good route running and obviously plays that were well designed by Josh [McDaniels] and the offensive coaches and well executed and well thrown by Tom.

Q: What attracted you to Deontae Skinner when you signed him? What have you seen in his development?

BB: Deontae was a three-and-half-year starter at Mississippi State, a pretty good program – which I guess we're all seeing a little bit more of that this year. He also played beside a guy who is going to be a real high draft choice this year too, so it was kind of hard not to notice him, notice them. But again, a multi-year starter in a good program in a real good conference with good production. He runs well and he's got good size. He's a pretty smart kid. We thought that he would be able to compete in training camp as a young guy at this level with his intelligence and his overall physical skills. Unfortunately he didn't see very much time on the field for quite a while – [missed] a lot in the spring and a lot in training camp and there were a few days that he was out there, but it was pretty limited. But we brought him back to the practice squad. The one thing he did too was try to really keep up with the installation and the information, both defensively and in the kicking game, even though he didn't have as much time on the field as I'd say most all of the other players did. He was in a difficult situation relative to the limited amount of practice time that he's had. But since he came back on the practice squad and then eventually has kind of worked his way up to the roster. I think he's gotten a little bit better each week. He's still a young player with basically no training camp, basically no OTAs with a long way to go. He's done some positive things and if he can keep sustaining a hard work ethic and stay on the field every day and keep getting better, I think he'll have a chance to have a decent career and certainly be able to continue to help us.

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