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Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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            **B:** We downgraded Matt Chatham to doubtful for the game because we think he is doubtful.  

Q: What is the injury I saw him in a sling?

B: A shoulder. He is out of that (sling) now, but he won't be ready. Willie (McGinest) did a little bit yesterday and will probably do a little bit more today. His leg is still bothering him a little bit, but I think we have a shot here we will see where we are today and tomorrow. It will probably go right until game time with him. That is the extent of my news.

Q: What is it specifically with Willie is it his hamstring, his groin?

B: It is not really his hamstring it is his leg, the upper part of his leg that has tightened up on him. It is not really his hamstring, I mean I am not a doctor.

Q: But it is in the back where the hamstring would be?

B: It is something back there that is bothering him. It is his leg.

Q: Does J.R. Redmond have a shot at being active this week?

B: If (Matt) Chatham can't play then that is obviously going to open up a spot for somebody. Now we brought Orlick Johnson up and he would most likely have an opportunity to take that spot as a linebacker, special teams player. To answer your question I think he has a little better chance than last week just because of the way the team is configured with the injury and all, but in the end it is still what everybody can do, what everybody brings, what all the different roles are. What he can bring versus what somebody else can bring.

Q: Overall, you have to be pleased with the special teams this year the returns, the coverage?

B: The punt returns have been, league leading numbers that has been good, but overall it hasn't been bad it certainly could be better. We have had a couple of kicking problems, a couple of penalties that are not what you are looking for. At times the kicking could have been better. At times the coverage could have been better, but overall we have made some plays.

Q: I am sure you have been around a lot of kickers in your career, but where does Adam (Vinatieri) fit in? He is obviously a very good kicker, but there are times when he has missed some gimme ones of 29-30 yarders?

B: He has kicked pretty well for us this year. The dropped snapped last week was out of his hands, but overall he has kicked very well even through preseason. That whole unit there the snapper, the holder, and the kicker is like a lot of other things we have talked about. It is just such a fine line between good and no good and those three guys, the timing there is critical on everything, every kick, every time you have an opportunity to put points up on the board assuming your protection is solid. I can't sit here and say it has been bad and all that, but on the other hand it could be better and it needs to be better. Anytime you are in close games and it comes down to a kick we all know that it is going to be the difference one way or the other, either them kicking it or us kicking it in those tight games.

Q: Harold Shaw seems to be doing well on special teams, do you ever foresee him carrying the ball?

B: Harold carried the ball for us in preseason and I think he is a strong runner. He is a guy who can get some tough yards. I wouldn't rule him out. I mean he really played both positions for us fullback and halfback and he has done a reasonably good job in the kicking game. He is a guy, in talking about some of the players who weren't active that have been asked about, Harold is the type of player who really has created a role for himself. In the kicking game, the versatility in the backfield between playing halfback and fullback, being able to run the ball with some authority inside and also being able to pick up the blitz in both positions. That is the kind of guy when you look at a player like that, that is the kind of guy that it is almost impossible not to go to the game with. Referring back to a couple of questions on Wednesday and Thursday, the offensive coaches want him because of his versatility, Brad (Seely) wants him because he plays on all the kicking game plays. If you replace him on special teams you have to replace four guys punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return. So that means four substitutions. He does versatile things for us on offense and that's the type of things that some of the guys who are inactive need to establish for themselves, much like Harold has.

Q: Is he a powerful enough runner that he could help you in the red zone?

B: I think that is his strength as a power runner, a guy who gets some tough yards and if that is what you are looking for he will do that and get you what he can. We used Kevin (Faulk) in a goal line situation last week and he scored. I think he scored the way Kevin is going to score with a little niftiness in the whole and some quickness and finding an opening there that maybe another back wouldn't have found or maybe another back would have put his head down and he might have scored the other way just with power. But Kevin and Harold are definitely different style runners, each with their strengths at doing it that way.

Q: How do you determine whether you want Kevin at the goal line or Harold at the goal line?

B: Ultimately the play that you call, or what you feel like gives you your best opportunity down there. That particular play was a play where there was a little bit of reading involved and it could have gone in a couple of different spots depending on how the defense unfolded. Versus a play where you just want to ram it up in there then maybe you want a bigger guy to ram it up in there with. On the other hand you can't keep doing the same thing, if you are going to run one type of play this back is in the game, if you are going to run another type of play that back is in the game. It is the same deal with the tight ends, if you are going to run it put the blocker in, if you are going to pass it, you can only go so long with that too. In the end you are going to have to have some type of variety, but I think that what you want the players to do is play into their strengths and if this is the type of player that they are then you want them to be able to utilize that strength.

Q: Are you interested at all in Orlando Brown?

B: In terms of interest, I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to, but from a personal standpoint he is a player that I had a very close relationship with at Cleveland and the injury that he incurred last year was very unfortunate. I have talked to him a couple of times relative to the injury and relative to his career and all of that type of thing, just as a friend not from a football standpoint. Personally I do have an interest in his future and really whatever he is able to do in lifestyle.

Q: Professionally?

B: Since he has been released I think that he is a guy, depending on what his physical condition is, that we might have an interest in, but his physical condition would determine what level the interest would be at.

Q: Do you know anything about that, has the team looked into the physical condition?

B: He has got an unusual type of injury and I think it would take somebody a whole lot smarter than me to be able to figure out what the diagnosis is.

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            **Q: Drew talked the other day about two different game plans you have used horizontal passing and vertical, do you feel closer to be comfortable to either one?**  

B: I think we need both. I don't think you can just throw the ball in one way, it is only a matter of time until the defenses are going to jump on it. I think you have to be able to compliment them. Clearly you can emphasize one or the other, but at some point you are going to have to compliment it with an alternative style.

Q: But wouldn't you get better with one or the other if you stressed it and used it more frequently?

B: If you can do it.

Q: Is the personnel here to do it?

B: You have to put your chips somewhere, you have to do something, but I think if you pick the wrong one, if you can't do it then you may not get any better at it that is all I am saying. In the passing game there are obviously a number of things you have to consider. You have to consider the guy who is throwing it, the guys who are running the routes that are catching it, and the people who are blocking which include a combination of just blocking the regular rush where you can get all of your receivers out and blocking a blitz where some of your potential receivers are going to have to stay and how you want to handle that situation and that is where tying it all in together, that's the objective and those are the decisions you have to make. For example, on third down this year, I know we have only played three games and I am not real big on stats I am not going to sit here and quote the stats everyday that's not my main objective, but on third down our overall success rate relative to the league on third and less than five is pretty good. On third and six and more it is not very good. So I think that is an example of what I have been talking about for the last couple of weeks. It is not like we haven't converted on third down. It's not like we can't execute the passing game. A certain part of the passing game we are executing pretty well and another part of it we are not executing very well and we need to maintain the success that we have had in one aspect of it and at the same time improve the other aspect of it and there are a lot of areas on our team like that. There are things that we are doing statistically relative to the rest of the league very well and then there are other things that are very low. A lot of times they are in the same phase of the game.

Q: Could Patrick Pass be a guy that could be that third down back because of his ability to block?

B: Yes.

Q: Is he going to be a regular in that role do you think?

B: Well I think he would have a chance to be a regular in that role if he would do it well enough yes, because he is bigger than some of our other backs, he catches the ball well, and he runs good pass routes. If he could establish that role for himself than yes he would have that role. If he can't than obviously we have to find somebody that can. Again, we have several players who I think are exactly falling into the same category you are mentioning, that they are getting an opportunity to establish and create something for themselves if they can do it, no question that will be a huge value to us. If they can't then we are going to have to find somebody else who can do it. We had that situation at guard through the preseason, through the first few regular season games and Joe (Andruzzi) and Sale (Isaia) have gotten a chance, as have other players, and they have been able to establish more than what the other players have in the judgement of the coaching staff. Patrick Pass, J.R. Redmond, all of the players we have been talking about, they are all kind of in that same boat. The sooner they can establish it than the more opportunity they are going to get.

Q: It seems like most teams use a halfback in that role rather than like a Chris Floyd or a Tony Carter could you go with the fullback on that is that a good pickup or do fullbacks have a problem with that physically?

B: No that is really what we have been doing. A lot of times you see Chris and Tony on the field at the same time in pickup and that definitely gives you a bigger, more physical guy to pick up blitzes. When you have another played in there he might give you better in the pass routes, more speed, or a better receiver or that type of thing so that is the tradeoff. No question the ideal situation would be to have a guy that was equally proficient at both. Really that is what you are looking for. Again, this is a little bit like the guard situation. We have seen all of our backs perform in that backfield role on second or third down whether it is a one-back, two-back set whatever it is and we are obviously trying to find our best combination and the sooner that somebody can establish themselves as that guy the better off we are all going to be. Up to this point it still really hasn't worked out, it hasn't cleared up as quickly as the guard situation has. The guard situation right now looks like it is pretty clear. The running back situation probably isn't that clear.

Q: Is it unusual to go this far into the season, you have pretty much the same guys since the beginning of training camp, but you haven't got any idea which one is the best at the various roles?

B: I think we know what certain people can do, but I think there are other people who haven't had the same opportunity. It is not a question with Kevin Faulk as to whether or not he can do it, it is a question of whether he can do that, first and second down, kickoff returns, punt returns, it is a question of how many things he can do. The other players I think we know what they can do and when they are in there we ask them to do things and we know what we are going to get. I don't mean to say we don't know what they can do I think the question really is what is the best combination. Who gives you the best total package, or can do the things that are most important to you and with the two rookies they both have missed time for various reasons and there is less date on them then there is on the other players that's all.

Q: When you and Charlie were with the Jets you were able to attack Zach Thomas and beat him up pretty good by blocking him with different personnels, is he the type of defensive player that you have to game plan for the same way you have to for a Cris Carter, Randy Moss type of player?

B: Absolutely, I don't think you can just run a normal play and think that Zach Thomas is going to get taken care of because first of all they protect him very well and it is hard to get to him. The two defensive tackles (Tim) Bowens and (Daryl) Gardener do an excellent job of keeping, whether it is the guards or the center whichever one of those three people that is assigned to block Zach, they do a good job of keeping that guy off of him and therefore he makes 100 tackles. Gardener didn't play last week (Kenny) Mixon played, but it is the same type of deal. It is hard and you think you can just go out there and block him, but the way they play inside they are in the gaps, they grab people, they keep you from getting off him and he is sitting there free back there so you have to find some way to get a hat on him, you have to find some way to block him. It sounds like it wouldn't be any problem, but with the two guys he has got playing in front of him they do a good job of protecting him and they also put him in positions where it is not that easy to get him and he is very, very productive for them. So I think you have somehow, someway you have to find a way to get him blocked and there are a lot of times where you have lineman trying to block him, but because he is so far back off the line of scrimmage he has enough space back there and he is quick, he is very quick that even though the guy is coming to block him he has enough time to step around him or slip him or do something to be able to still get free and get into the play. He is definitely a problem. You absolutely have to game plan for him or he will have 35 tackles.

Q: Did you have Jumbo Elliot block him a lot of times last year?

B: I think you need different combinations on him. I don't think you can just say, 'Okay the center is going to block him', because half the time the center can't get through to block him or the guard or whatever it is. So you have to be able to change up on, but on the other hand it is hard to run past Bowens to block Zach. It is hard to run past Jason Taylor, 'Oh we are just going to let Jason Taylor and go get Zach and let those guys penetrate the line of scrimmage.' That is basically what they do defensively and that creates some problems. Game planning for them is tough and for Zach too because even when you have a guy assigned to him that doesn't mean really that you are going to get him blocked either.

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