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Bill Belichick Conference Call Trascript - 9/17/2008

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the South Florida media during his conference call on Wednesday, September 17, 2008.

(On his impressions of Chad Pennington the first two games and how much can he help the Dolphins) - "I'm sure he'll help them a lot. I've always been impressed with Chad ever since he came into the league. I think he's a really smart quarterback, very accurate, good decision maker and can manage a game and run the team exceptionally well. I thought that he was not going to be in the division when the Jets released him and then it turned out he was in the division. We still got to face him twice a year. It's certainly not something that we're looking forward to. I have a lot of respect for Chad."

(On silencing the critics and beat the Jets in New York) - "Right now, all we're thinking about is Miami. They got a good football team, they're tough, they're physical and we got a big challenge this week with the Dolphins. Last week, we're done with that and just want to try to get ready for Miami. They got a lot of new faces, a very physical defensive line, good running game, some explosive players in the return game and on offense, Will Allen. We got a lot of stuff to get ready for with the Dolphins. That's really all we're thinking about."

*(On how he's alleviating some of the pressure of Matt Cassel football wise) *- "We're just trying to do what we feel like is best to win the game. Everybody is doing their job, him and everybody else included. Everybody's got to step up and play and take care of their responsibility and do their job. There's no shortcut to it. Both teams got 11 guys out there and those 11 people got to hold up whatever their responsibilities are in each individual play. That includes Matt and everybody else."

(On if he sees a similarity in Matt's demeanor taking over for Tom Brady that he did when Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe) - "Matt's been here four years and I think his personality and playing style and all that has evolved over the course of those four years. It's been pretty consistent and I think everybody knows what it is and is comfortable with it. When Tom came in, he was here as a rookie and we had four quarterbacks and he didn't really have a very prominent role on the team and the next year, after the injury in the second game, he was in a different position. I think it's a little bit of a different situation. I think Matt is more established player here in terms of being here for four years and being in the offense and being a backup to Tom over that period of time. It was a little bit different scenario in 2001."

(On if he tells Matt Cassel that he doesn't have to win games, just minimize mistakes) - "No, not really. We tell everybody to go out there and do their job and we try to win the game. That's what they're out there for. That's what a quarterback is, they've got to execute the plays and go out there and make plays for us to win. I don't think you can walk out on the field and tell everybody, 'Let's try not to lose.' I think you got to go out there and try to win. There's an old saying that, 'you can't win a war by digging a hole,' and I believe that. I think you got to be able to attack your opponent and make some plays. You just can't sit there and do nothing all day and wait for them to make some big mistake and just try not to lose the game. I don't believe in coaching that way."

*(On if he has changed the playbook or limited the number of plays for Matt Cassel to run) *- "As you know from watching us, we kind of change our game plan from week to week based on who we're playing and what the matchups are and where we feel our opportunities are that week. We'll continue to do that. I'm sure our plays this week will be a little different than they were last week. I'm sure our plays next week will be a little different than they were this week based on again who we're playing and what we feel like the matchups are. That's why we approach it every week regardless of who the quarterback is. It fluctuates depending on the circumstances of that particular game."

(On his impressions of Chad Henne in the fourth quarter against the Cardinals) - "I thought he did a good job. I think Chad's a real good football player. We saw quite a bit of him at Michigan last spring in preparation for the draft. He's a tough kid, very poised player, been in a lot of big games. He's tough, he'll stand in there, he's athletic, got a good arm and he's been in a good program. I think that he's got a good future in this league. I think the Dolphins have three good quarterbacks. We've seen all three of those guys and I think they all have a lot going for them. (John) Beck and Henne are the two young ones and Chad's (Pennington) an experienced guy that's already proven a lot in this league. I think they have a lot of depth and quality at that position."

(On is it any sense of motivation personally to silence the critics about his record without Tom Brady) - "My motivation is to try to go out there and get our team in a position where we can win on Sunday. That's what we get paid to do and that's what my motivation is. That's what I want to do is to try to prepare the team and go out there and play well and hope we can beat Miami."

*(On his impressions of the two-headed Dolphins running game with Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown) *- "I think it's tough, I think it's very tough. I think those two players complement each other well. They're both excellent backs; they can run inside, they can run outside, they can catch the ball. I think they're both strong players that you certainly have to be aware of which one is in the game because their running styles are a little bit different. They're both outstanding players and you got to defend the whole field against both guys and you got to tackle them. They both run hard, break a lot of tackles and have speed to get yards in the open field. They're tough to defend, they really are. I think that Dan Henning has done a good job with the running game like he always does. They run a lot of difficult schemes and certainly in preseason, we've seen all of the games, seen all of the preseason games and the two regular season games and they cause people a lot of problems in the running game with their scheme, their players and their backs. We know it's a big challenge for us this week, but these two backs are good."

(On now that Nick Saban is back in the college game, has he been able to maintain his relationship) - "Yes, it's a lot easier now that we're not in the same division, it sure is. I think Coach Saban has done an outstanding job at Alabama and I'm sure we'll be looking at a lot of his players this year and the years going forward. I learned a lot from Nick when we worked together in Cleveland and he was the defensive coordinator. We talked football through the years and I have a lot of respect for Nick and I think he's one of the best coaches that I've ever been around."

*(On how he feels about familiar faces (Bill Parcells) coming to a division rival of his) *- "I don't like it. I think Bill's record speaks for itself. He's rebuilt a lot of programs and he's done it very quickly. I spent obviously a lot of time with Bill and I have a lot of respect for him with what he does and how well he does it. I hate to have to compete against that in this division, but that's the way it is. We'll do the best we can, but I think that he and all of the people he brought in there; Jeff (Ireland) and Tony (Sparano) and everybody right on down the line, Paul (Pasqualoni), Dan (Henning), the whole group, that the Dolphins are vastly improved from where they were last year when we played them in the middle and then at the end of the year. I think that they've got a lot of good young players who are going to keep getting better. I see them causing a lot of problems for us and a lot of other people. Along with some of their veteran players, guys like (Chad) Pennington and even some of their younger veteran players like (Channing) Crowder and (Vernon) Carey and guys like that are playing well. I think their more productive than they were last year. Will Allen, guys like that, that are really playing well. I think they've made a lot strides in a short amount of time and I think it's unfortunate for us probably going to keep getting better."

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