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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Mon Nov 23 | 03:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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            **B:** It's on to the Jets. After the Monday night game that was a short week for us of course before the Minnesota game and we didn't get a chance to watch the Jets tape with the team. We showed a few things, but basically we didn't get to watch it so Monday after the Indianapolis game we spent most of our time watching the Jets tape rather than the Indianapolis tape to try to accelerate the preparations a little bit here for the Jets. I think this is a real opportunistic football team. They have been in a lot of close games and they have won them different ways. They have run back kicks, they have scored in two minute situations, and recovered a fumble at the end of the game with less than two minutes to go. They were behind then threw a halfback pass for a touchdown and things like that. So they are very opportunistic and the point that I have tried to emphasize to our team is that we just have got to be on red alert every play. There just isn't time to be not securing the football, late on the snap count, late on the coverage, losing contain on a running play or a quarterback things like that. They will make you pay for it. Offensively the Jets have a good group of skill players and they have two good quarterbacks. I am sure that they feel and I was there so I felt it to that the Jets can play well either Vinny (Testaverde) or (Ray) Lucas at quarterback. They have won a lot of games with both of them so I don't think that is really going to be a big factor in the game. From a mental standpoint and from our standpoint I think it will be difficult because we have to prepare for both guys and they are both good and they are both a little bit different. They both bring a lot to the game and the field and no matter which one is in there or they both might be in there we don't know, it will be very challenging defensively for us to be ready for that. On the offensive side of the ball this is a team that has a lot of strength in their linebacking unit and that appears to really be getting a little bit stronger. They do a good job with their front seven of stopping the run and giving you different looks and putting pressure on the quarterback. They have a real good punter and they are leading the league in kickoff returns so it is a good solid team all the way around. We made one move on the practice squad we released Chris Fontenot and signed Andre' Dixon who you will all be happy to know is a safety from Northeastern. He will be with us today and we have got Brandon (Mitchell) and Antonio (Langham) both questionable on the injury report we'll see how that works out. We are going to start practicing Adrian Klemm today off the PUP. So we have twenty one days or less if we choose to, but by rule we have twenty one days to make a decision on him whether to activate him or put him on reserve for the rest of the year. So that clock starts ticking to day. I think Todd (Rucci) is getting closer and we will see how he does out there in his continued work that has been increasing with Mike (Woicik) and the trainers. I would expect that he will be back out there soon. I'm not sure whether that is a day, two days, a week or whatever, but I think it will be pretty soon so that's where we are at.  

Q: You said you have to prepare for both quarterbacks, is that unusual and how much time will you have to spend on each, how much time will that take away?

B: We will certainly look at the tape of both players. Make sure that the players have an understanding of what each player's strengths are and what they do a little bit differently. There are certain plays that will run with more emphasis with one quarterback running than the other. Like Ray Lucas running the quarterback draw or Ray running rollout plays and that type of thing. Vinny has a couple of his favorites that the game never goes very long before he throws them and when he is in there those are plays that you have to get ready to defend so things like that. We will probably have (Michael) Bishop do some things, Ray Lucas type things just to get prepared for the elusiveness and the speed that he has in the pocket.

Q: With the way this team is right now and the way it was the last time you played the Jets, because it has improved will you know do more things against the Jets than you did last time?

B: That is a good question. I think all teams have improved or all the teams that I have seen. I can't say that I have studied every team in the league. Really every team that I have seen has improved over the last four or five weeks. Game conditions, more practice time, more fine tuning of the players who are in the game, more continuity with those players playing together. The Jets are better. I think everybody is better in October than they were in September. Now again there is a rate of improvement, but I don't think the game is going to be a whole lot different than it was the first time in terms of what we try to do or what we are going to be able to do. I think that our strengths are still our strengths. I think their strengths are still pretty much their strengths. I doubt that either team will get too far away from their baseline of what their system is. I obviously can't speak for them, but watching them play, their 4-1, they haven't had a lot of problems I can't imagine that they would be in a real big rush to upset the apple cart after they have gone out and beaten four of the first five teams.

Q: What position will Adrian Klemm work at?

B: He will work at left tackle.

Q: How's he, is he running?

B: Yes he's running, he's doing everything well enough to practice. He's running well. His agility and his quickness look okay. We hit him with the bags and stuff like that and it looks like he has got enough strength and is able to resist weight, moving sleds and that type of thing. We will see what happens when five bodies start moving in front of him.

Q: How much does he know of the offense?

B: We spent a lot of time with him. He works on it everyday. All the rookies come in early. They put in an hour before everybody else and all the rookies get extra time there and they get extra time after practice. We give them some other things to do take home assignments and that kind of thing to try and keep them up on it. I can't answer that question until I see it. It won't be from a lack of information our opportunity, but doing it on the field and reading it in a book are two different things.

Q: What would you say to fans that fear that Ty Law has lost a step?

B: The same thing that I have said to the questions that have come in here about pass defense. It is a function of the team, everything. We are not playing pass defense as well as we need to play it and that includes everybody. That includes the pass rush. That includes the pass coverage. It includes the linebackers, the corners, the safeties we need to do a better job. We need to do a better job on first down. We need to do a better job on third down. The red area has improved a little bit that last couple of weeks, but overall as a group, as a team it needs to be coached better. We need to do a better job of playing and coaching and that goes for everybody.

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            **Q: You don't share that feeling that Ty has lost a step?**  

B: I don't think Ty has lost a step.

Q: If you were playing a team that you don't play normally and they had this quarterback problem as far as injuries would it be harder to prepare for as opposed to the Jets situation which you are familiar with?

B: I think as a coach you can always prepare your team a little bit better if you have a little more information. So it will be a lot easier for me to talk about the quarterbacks for the Jets having been on the field with both of them and meetings and watching them perform under pressure then with a guy that I haven't done that with. We try to make our players aware of all the personnel every week. We talk about however many people the Jets have on their offensive roster 26 or 27 guys whatever it is. We talk about the guys that are inactive. We talked about (Jermaine) Wiggins, we talked about (Vincent) Brisby, we talked about (Chris) Hayes all those players were inactive last week, but they could all be active this week we don't know. So we talked about their strengths and weaknesses, we talk about their backup players, their backup lineman (J.P.) Machado, and (David) Loverne and (Jumbo) Elliot and if they play whether they elect to play them or not or whether they get hurt and have to play, this is the type of player that they are. We talk about their receivers (Dwight) Stone and (Laveranues) Coles and well as (Wayne) Chrebet and (Dedric) Ward because they could easily show up in the game if they are active. That is just a part of a normal preparation. In this particular case it may be a greater possibility that you are going to get the second quarterback. I think just what happened last week in the Pittsburgh game that can happen on the first play of the game so I think you always want to go into the game with an understanding of what all the players can do just in case they do come out on the field what to be prepared for. If you know that there is a greater likelihood that they are going to play then you might spend a little more time on them, but I think you still need to, just as part of the preparation address everybody that participates in the game and a lot of time you get guys like last week Vickers for Indianapolis played on short yardage and goal line. He was their sixth lineman, but in the goal line situation he came in the game so there is a good opportunity to talk about him and then if he ends up playing guard or tackle whatever it is which he might have done last week with (Adam) Meadows. It was the same kind of deal with (Adam) Meadows. He was sick and couldn't practice all this and that and then miraculously he didn't miss a play in the whole game. So that is just one of the miracles of modern medicine. Sometimes they look like they can't lift a finger and then they play the whole game 24 hours later. You have to be ready for whomever they put in.

Q: They have been substituting in Anthony Becht into the offense it seems like they are using him more?

B: Well it looks like he has replaced (Fred) Baxter as a starter, but Baxter still plays a lot on some of their two tight end sets and even a little bit on the three wide sets. They made a change at receiver with Coles. (Bernie) Parmalee is starting to factor in a little bit more so again you can see that the Jets have made some modifications in what they are doing as I think any team would at this point in the season. Certainly we are still undergoing changes and I think in the next three or four weeks we will try to gradually make some changes to work things into a more productive fashion then we are now, at least I hope it works that way. I don't think, at least in our case, I don't think we can stop trying to be progressive and move ahead, we're not totally where we want to be yet.

Q: I know it is one week at a time and you can only take care of your own business, but these guys are aware of what is going on in the division and everybody is vulnerable, so how much of a challenge is that?

B: Not much in my mind. Look we are just trying to win a game. You look through the years and see what teams under .500 have done and you are not going to find a whole lot. Right now we are just trying to beat the Jets. That is the only thing that we can do anything about and it is the only thing that matters. We can't control what Miami or Indianapolis or Cincinnati or what anybody else does. It is out of our control so why worry about it.

Q: Can you talk about your pass defense, do you have a preference the way the corners play a little bit of the classic bump and run, does it depend on the personnel?

B: I think it depends on what you are trying to stop and what you can do well. I think it is probably true for all decisions, since we are talking defensively, defensively. You have to look at what you are trying to defend, but then you also have to look at what you think you can do and how well you do it. Sometimes you watch things on film and you say, 'Boy that looks great, but we are just not that kind of team. I just don't think we would be able to do those things the way that other team is doing them.' Then there are other times that you can say, 'Boy that is there style of play and we have a similar style of play,' and that is the way that you want to encourage your players to do it if you think it will be effective doing whatever it is how they are attacking.

Q: Have you guys played much bump and run?

B: Sure.

Q: People have been catching balls on Ty's (Law) side and people have been saying Ty Law has not been playing well and in the past he was shutting players down playing bump and run in tight coverage and it doesn't seem he is doing that now.

B: I can't tell you what the percentages were in the past I have no idea, but we are playing plenty of press coverage and we are also playing zone. We are mixing it up. I don't think you can just say this is the only coverage that we have been in. We have some variety, but yes there have been plenty of times that we have been out there pressing receivers.

Q: The first game (Curtis) Martin was a little banged up, how has he looked lately and do you think you will have a much heavier does of him this time?

B: I think you always have to be ready for a big does of Curtis Martin. He is a great back and he does a lot of things well. He catches the ball well. He's tough. He's a good inside runner. For a guy his size he is very strong. Pound for pound he is probably as strong a back as there is in the league. He is probably as strong a player as there is in the league. He is quick. He has got good change of direction. He is very good and he is a great competitor so you are never going to get anything less than his absolute best effort and that is what you have got to be ready for. I think you have to be ready for that every weekend. You just hope that you can get enough people around him so you don't create too many one-on-one situations that you can keep him under control, but he is a hard guy to stop.

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            **Q: You mentioned several times about how the secondary is playing and how it is not just one guy, but how the entire unit plays what changes that to get them to play the way you want them to? Does an individual have to step or the whole group?**  

B: Part of it is communication, well part of it is coaching. I think we have to do a better job of coaching. I think the players have to do a better job of communicating and making sure that everybody is playing aggressively because they know exactly how things are being played and how to play certain patterns and certain situations. I think our technique needs to be better and that is every play not just a few plays better. Our discipline and our technique needs to be better. Our discipline needs to be better on pass defense. There is a time when you want to be on a receiver and there are times when you want to be off of them because there are more dangerous receivers behind you. There are times when teams run deep patterns and you should be aware of those situations and there are times when they are going to run patterns that are more reflective of the distance that they need on third down to pick up the first down and we need to be more aware of those. I think it is a combination of things. Look I feel like I have coached defense long enough, I have coached pass defense long enough and pass coverage that I think I have some idea generally of what to do, not maybe perfect, but a general idea. We have got to get the players to do it better. The players have to have enough confidence that it will work and they need to perform it better and then collectively that's what needs to happen.

Q: Are they tentative right now? Are they just not pulling the trigger on plays that they should make because maybe they are unsure how this defense operates?

B: You would have to ask them that. I don't know. That might be part of it, but I don't think by any means that could be all of it, but that might be part of it.

Q: You made a couple of changes in personnel between (Larry) Whigham and Antwan Harris…

B: I think we are going to continue to utilize the personnel that we have available and I think that it might change a little bit from week to week. I think there are some younger players that are starting to show that they might be ready to contribute a little bit more and if they can continue to do that then we will try to use them a little bit more and expand their role. I definitely don't feel like we are not going to make any more changes. I don't want to make changes just to make changes I want to try to improve our team and if I feel like we can do that then that is absolutely what we will do.

Q: In the last game at the Jets Chrebet caught those two passes at the end that beat you, on those two plays aside from how they ended obviously, was that pretty good pass defense your lineman was right there?

B: Yes and one ball and went right through his hands and the other ball he missed by a few inches, but nobody cares about being close. It doesn't matter whether you are close or whether you are fifty yards off of him both plays were touchdowns and close isn't going to get it against Vinny and it is not going to get it against Wayne either. But yes it was good coverage and it was close, but we didn't make the play so it wasn't good enough. He made it and that's all that anybody remembers or cares about.

Q: Some of the guys said last week in the secondary that is was hard because the scheme changed week to week, do you ever try to simplify it at all?

B: I thought to do whatever I think is the best thing to do absolutely and that is what we are trying to do absolutely and that is what we are trying to do believe me.

Q: Do you have to fight against making it too complicated?

B: As a coach you have got to try to let your team perform the best way that it can whatever that is that's how you try to do it. If it is cutting back on things so we can perform better sometimes that helps. Sometimes when you make it so simple for the other team it gives them more confidence because they know where you are going to be and it makes it an easy execution game for them. I don't think I could just sit here and say, 'Well we will just make it simple this week and they'll throw for 50 yards.' If I really thought that then that is what we would do, but I really don't thin that is going to be the answer to play one coverage and just make it as simple as we can possibly make it. I think we have to stop the Jets offense and they are a complex offense, they are a multiple offense and I don't think there is just one thing you can do to stop it. I might be wrong and maybe some other team can do that I don't know, but I don't think that is going to get it for us.

Q: How has Chrebet handled the post-Keyshawn (Johnson) era?

B: No he is the same guy. He is tough, I mean he is tough. He's quick, he's strong, he's got great concentration, smart player, knows how to get open, knows where the defenders are. People double him it doesn't make any difference he attacks the one guy in the double puts the other guy out of it and then beats that guy. You can't jam him at the line, he is too quick down the field. He catches pretty much everything he gets near. He has great awareness of third down situations of what he needs. I mean he is good, the guy is good.

Q: Is that from all of those years against going against your defenses in practice?

B: Let me tell you something we doubled him everyday in practice too.

Q: Do you think it made him a better player?

B: I think he made us better. He is good that guy. He is as good a slot receiver as I have faced. People say he is overachieving and all of that I don't think he overachieves at all. I think he has great quickness, great strength, great concentration, great instincts and awareness for the passing game and knows how to get open. To tell you the truth I am surprised he doesn't catch more balls because he is open practically every play it is just a question of whether the quarterback is looking at him or whether the quarterback gets discouraged by the double coverage that he is getting, but he still ends up beating it. Just because you double him doesn't mean he is covered, it just means that he beats two guys instead of one that's all.

Q: Is he one of those guys you talk about always knowing where he is, always, always, always?

B: He's pretty good, boy he is pretty good. He knows where to be and how to be there and when to stop, when to throttle down, when to keep going and when to stop and he has got good chemistry with the quarterbacks. It didn't make any difference who the quarterback was whether it was (Neil) O'Donnell, Testaverde, (Glenn) Foley, Lucas I mean they all looked for him and they all could count on him and he came through for them. I remember even going back to when I was here and he was at New York when I was with New England trying to cover him. He's tough, he's tough.

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