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Replay: Best of Patriots Radio Thu Jan 26 - 02:00 PM | Tue Jan 31 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

Foxboro Stadium - Foxborough, MABill Belichick speaks to the press.



            **B:** On the injuries from the game it doesn't look like there is anything serious to report there just some bumps and bruises, nothing that looks particularly significant at this time. After watching the tape this morning I kind of got pretty much the same feeling I had after the game. It was a game where we again couldn't capitalize on the opportunities and unfortunately that theme has been too familiar. I tried to reflect on, not only the Miami game, but all four games and kind of where the common thread is, where the most significant things need to be addressed and trying to be realistic about the situation that we are in. Basically I feel that, I am not discouraged, I am certainly not happy about the record and I know nobody is happy about being 0-4 and there is nothing positive about that particular statistic, but I am not discouraged about our team. I think that we are doing enough good things to give ourselves a chance that if we could just do a few more we could change the way it is coming out, but we are not doing them so those things need to continue to be addressed. I think that the attitude and the preparation and the level overall that the team has come with in the last four weeks has been okay. It needs to be a little bit better. When you are 0-4 sometimes people ask you, 'Is this rock bottom, is this as bad as it gets?' No, I mean it could get worse and I think it could have been worse already. So the important thing for me is that the players and the coaches continue to approach the games, the game, the Denver game the way we have the first four, but with a little bit more commitment, a little bit more resolve, more attention to detail, better communication, better understanding of situations and ultimately better execution in those situations. That's where I really think we are. I'm not trying to put any silver lining onto anything I am just trying to be realistic and approach the game where if we can continue to do the things that get us to a certain point that gives us a chance to do things better which could put us over the hump. I think that there are some individuals on the team that need to change their approach to the game a little bit and maybe that will improve their performance or collectively our team performance, but overall I think that our team needs to do the positive things that it has done, but do more of them. That is where I feel like we are right now.  

Q: How do you mean that some players need to change their approach?

B: Well we are 0-4 that's not good enough so we need to do a little bit more. We need to change it in a little more positive manner.

Q: Is it the same players or has it been different players each game?

B: I think when you look at the four games and even the Miami game it is a little bit of a finger in the dike thing. You put your finger in the dike here on pass protection against Tampa and that wasn't a problem yesterday. You put your finger in the dike on containing the quarterback one week and that's not a problem the next week and you put your finger in the dike in the running game on first and second down and that's not a problem it's big play passing game on third down. You put your finger in the dike on third and short conversions and you give up a couple of big plays on third down. You put your finger in the dike on kickoff coverage and it's field goals. It has been a variety of things and it is hard for me to sit here and consistently say well this, the things that have been consistently ineffective for us over four games has been our red area, offensive and defensive production and to a certain extent our third down production.

Q: Is it surprising to you at this point that these same things are occurring?

B: Yes, the red zone on third down we have put a lot of time and a lot of effort into and I am disappointed the results aren't better there. I would say the other aspects of the game have been intermittently positive with some problems here and there that have marred it from being a real solid performance, but overall there are a lot of positive things to work on. The red zone and third down have been just a combination of, and even yesterday it wasn't as much the red zone really as it was just from the plus 40 to the plus 30 yard line. A little bit of our ineffectiveness there offensively prevented us from even attempting field goals. You can't even just say it was just the red area we could have scored enough points without even scoring touchdowns in the red area had we been a little more effective getting into the red area. The results of our efforts have not shown up in production, but I think that in the other phases of the game that there is enough production that says, 'Well at least at times we can do these things well, just not consistently.'

Q: Have you given any thought to changing the personnel to see what some of the younger players or some of the reserves can do, even if you are relatively pleased with what the starters are doing or is it just ridiculously way to early in the season to think about that?

B: No, I don't think it is too early to think about anything. I think that any player that we think we could put out on the field in any situation that could make a difference or make a positive impact, that's a consideration, it's a valid consideration and believe me we have talked about a lot of things. We did that at the offensive guard position. We put guys out there and in all honesty the last two weeks that has probably been one of the most consistent areas of our football team is the interior part of the offensive line. I am not afraid to make a change, I am not afraid to do what I think is the best thing for the team, but just changing people to change them then sometimes it is hard to evaluate whether that change is going to work or not just because there are so many moving parts around it.

Q: For instance a huge change would be if you really gave (Michael) Bishop time at quarterback, I certainly would argue that (Drew) Bledsoe has played pretty well, so not because he has been inefficient or ineffective, but would there be any thought of just seeing what Bishop would do in the regular season over a stretch of time?

B: I don't see that happening, no.

Q: Can a team get a case of the mental yips? If it is not one thing it is another?

B: I guess it could. I think if a team that is not mentally strong enough to deal with adversity and to deal with tough situations, I think that could happen. I'd like to think that a team that is mentally tough, even though they face an adversity, would continue to persevere until that adversity is conquered and that is really the attitude that I have and that I am looking for on this football team is for us to take that approach. If we don't fix it nobody is going to fix it. It isn't like somebody is going to wave a wand and something is going to happen. We are going to have to change ourselves and that is what we need to do.



            **Q: When you started at Cleveland you didn't have a very good record, does the negative momentum tend to build until you can change it?**  

B: Well there is not question that when you win that builds confidence. You can basically go out and play the same game and the swing of one play changing the final score it totally changes your outlook on how the game was played. 'We played well and we won, or we played poorly and we lost.' Even though that one play whatever it is could swing it one way or the other and it is easy to fall into that frame of mind. I think in the long run you need to keep improving as a football team or there is going to be times when some of those winning performances aren't good enough to win and some of those close but not there against a different level of competition could not be that close. You always want to stress the corrections and the improvements, but I know what you are saying, 'You are coming close a couple of times where is the teams confidence?' In all honesty I can't tell you exactly where it is, I can't get inside 53 heads and tell you exactly what each one of them are thinking. I know what I am telling them I know what they should be thinking, but what's in everybody's mind that is at a higher level than I get at.

Q: When a team is going good quarterbacks usually use a lot of receivers, here the quarterback uses only a few what is the reason?

B: I think every team has it's own strengths and each team has certain go to players and whether it's by situation or personality or talent level or whatever, I don't really see the ball being thrown to just one guy. I think if you look at the four guys there is multiple use of receivers. Clearly Terry Glenn is a focal point and a guy that we want to get the ball to, that is not secret.

Q: When it comes to crunch time it seems like those players are double-teamed?

B: The ball is not ending up in the receivers hands let's put it that way in some crucial situations and whether that is sometimes a combination of the ball not being there, the receiver not being open, the protection breaking down, I mean all of those things have occurred at one time or another. I don't think I could just single that it has always been the receivers covered, I mean there have been times when we just haven't connected to them. It is just like the second to last play of the game to Terry Glenn in the end zone, I wouldn't say that he was covered, but the ball didn't end up in his hands.

Q: Lots of people thought this would be a transition year without having to be a true rebuilding year, is that an unrealistic expectation?

B: Let's evaluate the season at the end of the season. Right now we are a team that has had four disappointing games, four very competitive games and four disappointing games. Sometimes those situations make you stronger and that's the way we really need to respond. I can't tell you how this team is going to respond, I really don't know for sure, but I know how I want them to respond and I know how a real good competitive team and a real good competitive player responds. The tougher it gets the harder they play and that's what we need to do.

Q: You have been in all four games, does that add to the frustration?

B: Sure, well I mean they are all frustrating outcomes. We had opportunities right at the wire and three games we had the ball in our possession going in and in other game had a lead at the end of the game that was erased. Those are frustrating. There are teams in this league that have been beat 49-0, that is a different level of frustration or whatever you want to call it.

Q: Is Harold Shaw going to be seeing a little more time?

B: Again Harold has some strengths and in situations where we can utilize those strengths, his size, he is a powerful guy, he is a big guy for picking up blitzers in pass protections. There are some things that he does that are strengths and I think there is a time and a place when that can be utilized.

Q: You have done some good things, is it mistakes, is that maybe a bigger disappointment or are guys not stepping up and overcoming those mistakes? Is one area a little more disappointing than another?

B: I think the biggest area of disappointment for me is just our execution, When you put in a play and you go over it and you practice it, and practice it, and practice it against a lot of different things, sometimes you put in a play and you say, 'Okay this is something that we want to put do in this situation; and you practice it a couple of times and you are kind of banking on that situation coming up like you put in a route and 80 percent of the time they are in man coverage on third down and you put in a route to beat man coverage and you run it a couple of times against man coverage because that is what you are going to get and then they change up on you and this one time out of fine they give you something different and you don't really have what you are looking for so you don't quite get what you want there. There are other plays where you put them in and you go over them against everything. You have run this play against blitzes, against zone coverage, against man coverage, against three man rush, against four man rush, against two deep safeties, one deep safeties, 'When this happens here is what we do, when that happens there's what we do, when something else happens this is what we do,' and then you get into a crucial situation and you call that play and it is one that the players have confidence in because they've run it, the coaches have confidence in because they have seen the players execute it and then you call the play and you don't get the execution that you want. That's disappointing. You work on a certain stunt and then they run that stunt and you don't block it, or the receiver is suppose to run a certain route and he doesn't run the route quite the way it is suppose to be run, or he runs the route the way it is suppose to be run and the ball is not where it is suppose to be. There is some breakdown along the line on the execution of a play and again you can go back last week to the extra point that's a play where we have three guys that who specialize in those three jobs, snapping, holding and kicking, assuming the protection is okay. That is what they do and the holder also punts. The level of execution there should be pretty good. I can't say that it has been horrendous, but we have to make them and that is the type of thing I am talking about. Defensively it is the same thing, you have a guy double covered and 'When he runs this route I am going to free up and help somewhere else,' and then you get that play in the game, the guys runs a route and you have seen this guy free up and help somewhere else and then on this play the help doesn't come and the ball gets thrown over there. Again I can't say that it happens every time, every time we do it there is something wrong there is a mistake, I definitely can't say that because there are plenty of things out there that you can see that looks like it gives us a chance, but it is one or two that comes up short, but those one or two could be thirty plays. It's not just this one play, I mentioned the Terry Glenn pass in the end zone, but you could go to tem other plays and pick that out too, but it is the execution, it is the precision that you need to have in this league. You just can't go out there and run around it has to be right against Sam Madison or (Patrick) Surtain or Aaron Glenn or Ronnie Barber whoever you are playing against those guys are good, Warren Sapp. You give them credit for making there plays but we are making enough of them and we just need to make a couple more and that is where we haven't been able to do it.

Q: You have been pretty active looking for talent, is that a case where you do not have the right talent in-house?

B: I don't have a lack of confidence in the players, I don't have a lack of confidence in the talent because it is displayed. It isn't like you can't see it. Like I said the precision and the execution needs to be better. I don't think we could go out and get a more talented player to do those things. I think that we are good enough to do them and we do them, but we haven't done them enough to not be 0-4.

Q: Did Drew hurt his hand at the end of the game?

B: Yes but I think that he is all right.

Q: Will he practice?

B: Yes.

Q: What are the chances of getting Willie (McGinest) back this week, how close was he?

B: Pretty close, but until a player can go full speed, he's not full speed. We saw it with Ted Johnson in preseason where he was pretty close and then finally he turned the corner. So I don't know when this one is going to turn the corner. I am not predicting six weeks, I'm not predicting six hours, I'm not predicting six days, I really don't know. It is close and hopefully he will be able to practice this week.

Q: How do you think the front seven did with out him?

B: I think overall the running game wasn't a substantial problem. We had a couple of longer plays against defensively, two particularly on third down, but it was a game of big plays and defensively we gave up a couple. We made a few and those offset a couple that we gave up and that's pretty much the game.

Q: You took (Bruce) Armstrong out was he hurt, was he tired?

B: The knee was starting to wear down a little bit. It wasn't an injury, but wear and tear. We have been doing that through the game and that could be the way it is going to go for awhile here.

Q: Will you go as long as you can with him?

B: We try to manage it. You never know exactly how it is going to turn out. Sometimes it isn't a problem sometimes it is. Sometimes you try to manage it earlier to make it last all the way through depending on how it is going.

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