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Bill Belichick Conference Call with the Miami Media

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the Miami media during his conference call on Wednesday, November 28, 2012.


Q: Has Davone Bess done anything this season to show you that he is more than a slot receiver or do you still see him as a slot receiver?

BB: Well, I've always thought he's a very good receiver – inside or outside. He's hard to tackle, he's quick, he's an explosive guy, he's got good speed. He's hurt us inside, he's hurt us on the perimeter, going all the way back to the '09 game and probably every game since then. He's a good player. I think he can do a lot of different things for you: run reverses, catch long passes, catch short passes, some screens, as well as being in the return game. [Marcus] Thigpen has done a great job for them returning, but we know he can return too. So he's a dangerous player.

Q: How similar are Davone Bess and Wes Welker?

BB: Well, I've never actually coached Davone. But they're both very productive players. Both catch the ball well, both run after the catch, they have really good quickness – very instinctive players.

Q: Do you expect Wes Welker to be back in New England next year?

BB: Right now we're just really concentrating on trying to beat Miami. That's what we're worried about.

Q: You have faced a number of rookie quarterbacks this season. Does it seem like rookie quarterbacks are more prepared to start in the NFL right out of college than they were 10 or 15 years ago?

BB: I don't know. I think each player is different. Each guy has his own experience in college and each system he comes to in the NFL is different. So I don't know if there is any set answer to that, that I am aware of.

Q: What concerns you the most about what Ryan Tannehill can do to a defense?

BB: He's a good player. I think he does a lot of things well. He manages the team well, does a good job with their 'check with mes' and communication at the line of scrimmage. He's got a lot of good deep balls, [he's] athletic, can run and get out of the pocket; has a nice touch on the ball, does a good job on third down. I think he does a lot of things well.

Q: Ryan Tannehill has been up and down over the past month, do you know what to expect out of him from week-to-week based on a rookie quarterback's highs and lows?

BB: We expect every player to play their best every week – that's what we prepare for. So it doesn't matter whether the guy is a rookie or a 50-year veteran or whatever he is, we know what they're capable of, we expect that level of performance from them and that's what we prepare for. He's played very well this year. He played very well against Seattle last week – did a great job on the game winning field goal, leading them down the field there with the game on the line. So he's made a lot of big plays throughout the season and I'm sure he'll play well this week.

Q: The Dolphins changed their base defense this year from a 3-4 to a 4-3. What challenges do you see from the Miami defense when you watch them on film?

BB: I think they have a lot of good players. They're well coached and they have a good scheme. They put a lot of pressure on you; there are a lot of different blitz packages – they bring safeties, defensive backs, linebackers. The front is good. They do a good job on the edge with [Cameron] Wake – he's one of the top rushers in the league – [Koa] Misi, [Olivier] Vernon's done a good job for them. Inside they're disruptive with [Paul] Soliai and [Randy] Starks and [Jared] Odrick. [Reshad] Jones and [Chris] Clemons, a couple young safeties, they've done a nice job; [Sean] Smith and [Jimmy] Wilson at the nickel spot. So they've got a lot of young players on defense, particularly in the secondary, but they seem to be playing well. A lot of experience there at linebacker with [Karlos] Dansby and [Kevin] Burnett. Very good overall group and they're well coached. They're physical, they play hard, they knock the ball off of a lot of people, they get a lot of negative plays because of the penetration and the pressure on the front. They're a very solid defense – good in the red area and good on third down. Tough to run the ball against, [they] hit the quarterback – they do a lot of things well.

Q: Is this the best that your offense has played in the last five years because it seems to be really clicking right now?

BB: I don't know. Right now we just hope we can play well on Sunday. That's all that really matters. It doesn't matter what we did five years ago, or two years ago, or 10 years ago; I don't think that really has a big impact on the game. I just hope we can play well on Sunday.

Q: Despite starting the season with a few narrow losses, over the last five games you seem to be performing at a high level on both sides of the ball. What has been the key to your recent success?

BB: Yeah, we've had good contributions from all three areas of our team. We played good complementary football with offense, defense and special teams. Like I said, that really doesn't matter; it's whether we do that this week against an opponent that we haven't played, that's well coached, that has a lot of good players and that played well last week against Seattle. So we'll have to match their level of play, their intensity and their physicality. We'll see whether or not we can do that this week.

Q: How has your plus-24 turnover ratio helped you this season and what does that kind of margin do for you?

BB: It just gives you more opportunities. It gives you opportunities with field position and it takes the possession away from your opponent and gives it to you. It's certainly an important stat towards winning. Not as important as points, but one of the more important things you want to try to do is protect the ball and take it away.

Q: If you look at the numbers of a lot of the top quarterbacks over the years they start going downhill at about 35-years old. What allows Tom Brady to be so successful at this point in his career?

BB: He's a talented player and he works hard. He's always trying to improve. He works hard on his physical conditioning, he works hard mentally at the game and he's got good talent. So those three things all work in his favor.

Q: How would you rate your friend Jon Bon Jovi's football knowledge?

BB: Good. I mean he owned an arena team and they won a championship. So that's pretty good.

Q: Does he have a future in the league as a potential owner?

BB: I don't know. You would have to talk to him about that.

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