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Bill Belichick Interview Transcript - 8/7/2012

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BB:Great to work with the Saints; they're a great organization. I have a lot of respect for the ownership, with Mr. [Tom] Benson and of course Sean [Payton] and Joe [Vitt] and his staff and players. We had a really good practice out there in terms of working with them and just getting better. [There are] a lot of things we need to improve on. They're a real good football team, they do a good job. It's kind of a heavy heart today with going to Garrett Reid's services and seeing Andy [Reid]. The Saints, Mr. Benson, were generous enough to let me go down there with them on their plane this morning. I'm just glad I had an opportunity to be there and see Andy and his family and the Eagles organization. I have a lot of respect for them and what they do as well. They're great friends and my heart goes out to him and our team does to the Eagles. We'll take a look at things tonight and we have some situations and other things to build on tomorrow. Instead of just playing one game against a team like this, we really get three goods days of work against them so we'll try to take advantage of that and help ourselves get better.

Q:Was there good energy out there, as far as seeing somebody different?

BB:Yeah, absolutely. We got a lot of good new looks and we need them and we'll learn from them and it will make us a better football team. It was a good day.

Q:Last time you two scrimmage, Coach Sean Payton was here. You two are two of the best NFL coaches. What do you make of him not being here this time?

BB:I miss Sean not being here. I think the world of Sean and he's a great friend. I look forward to seeing him back out here soon.

Q:How challenging do you think it is for a team to have to go through a season without a head coach?

BB:Right now, I'm just focused on coaching our football team. That's really what I'm concerned about.

Q:Devin McCourty was saying that the players had a little extra energy today but he felt that to this point the energy has been consistent in camp.

BB:I think the players have worked hard. They came back in good condition and they've competed well through camp. Again, we have a long way to go; we have a lot of work to do. We'll see how it all plays out but they're trying and we have a good competitive group so they've pushed each other.

Q:How much does your defense get out of having Tom Brady every day in practice and now getting to face Drew Brees?

BB:Yeah, no question. Our defense gets challenged every day in practice. Look at what New Orleans did last year and they have kind of those 11 players back – setting NFL records and passing yardage and Drew in completion percentage and all that. [They're] the top scoring offense in the league, [they] move the ball. It's a big challenge playing against that group. They're different – they do different things than what we do and they're very good at it. It's good for our defense to see the best and compete against the best.

Q:What kind of things are you looking at and concentrating on with so much going on out there?

BB:Ultimately we're trying to evaluate our players and we're trying to evaluate our team. There are things individually that players need, that coaches need just in terms of getting their coaching routine – calling plays, making adjustments, seeing their opponents and making corrections for what they do. We all have things individually that we're working on and then collectively as a team we have to pull things together and do a better job of coaching areas that we're not executing as well on based on what we want to do.

Q:Is it a good test to get against a team that has already played one preseason game so they've already had the live, full speed mode?

BB:I don't know. You can't worry too much about the other team. The Saints are here, they're a good team, they're playing well. They do a lot of things well so we're just competing against them, whatever they've been doing.

Q:Can you talk about Sterling Moore?

BB:Sterling, like a couple other players on our team that got here or came to us in midseason, has had the benefit, including all the rookies last year, has had the benefit of a full offseason and full training camp with that offseason to prep to go into it. I think Sterling and all of our second-year players are a lot better prepared than what they were last year. I think that's helped them. You can see it in their play, their confidence and overall execution.

Q:Coach Joe Vitt called your organization the Microsoft of the NFL. How do you respond to that from an organization that's already pretty good?

BB:We just try to go out and work hard and get better every day. We know that there a lot of other great organizations and teams and players and coaches out there. It's a good challenge every week and certainly the Saints are one of the top teams in professional football. As I said, they're well coached, they have great talent, good players, good scheme [and] they win a lot of games. We played against them two years ago, practiced against them two years ago in their championship season. There isn't any team we have more respect for than the Saints from top to bottom. They do a great job all the way around.

Q:Curtis Martin revealed on Saturday night that he got through his career without having a lot of passion for the game. How many guys have you ever encountered in your career who were able to get through a career even close to his without truly loving the game?

BB:I don't know. That's a tough one. I'd have to think about that one for awhile. I don't know. I couldn't give you a number.

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