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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 16 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 21 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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



            **B:** I am sure everybody got the story on Chad. Todd Rucci practiced yesterday for the first time so both Todd and Adrian (Klemm) are in the practice mode. Just on Chad's situation that obviously means that other people are going to have to step up and replace the roles that he played for us for this game. I'm sure that Henry (Thomas) will, we have a lot of confidence in him, he's done a good job for us and I'm sure he will get a little more playing time. That's what we have to do. I think everybody will have to take a little bit of that, spread that responsibility around the other defensive linemen and even to a certain extent the linebackers and obviously Henry at that position.  

Q: Did Chad's knee happen yesterday?

B: Yes at the beginning of practice it just tightened up on him. We had it checked out and it seems like a relatively, I hate to say minor because anytime you have an injury it is only minor if it is not yours, but this shouldn't be too long.

Q: Do you know which knee?

B: No.

Q: Can you specify whether it is a ligament or…

B: I am not a doctor I don't know. He is down at the hospital right now.

Q: It just tightened up?

B: Well they are going to do some kind of procedure and take care of it. I mean it is not an ACL or anything like that it is not a season ending deal. It is something that is obviously keeping it from functioning smoothly and the decision was made to just to do it and get it over with and get him back rather than try to manage it and go along and hope that it clears up.

Q: But he is having a scope?

B: Again I am not a doctor.

Q: Was it something that was bothering him previously though?

B: No I mean he played Sunday you know.

Q: It is something that he couldn't play with though obviously?

B: Obviously not. If he could play with it he'd play with it. I'm sure he would. I don't think there is any doubt about that.

Q: So Henry is the primary replacement?

B: Well Henry has been playing there and he will get more snaps.

Q: Who becomes his backup now?

B: Well we will have to work (David) Nugent in there a little bit, we will do that today. He really would be the third. Nugent played some nose at Purdue. He has done a little work in there from time to time through the season, but right now he'd be the next guy to play inside.

Q: He seems to be making some progress he played on the left side with Bobby Hamilton in the fourth quarter last week has he just been making that kind of practice where he is earning playing time now?

B: Yes he's coming along and like we have talked about with the young guys David has got a little better opportunity a couple of times and he's done okay with it so that leads to a few more opportunities and that is kind of where he is right now. If he gets more opportunity this week than that will be a chance for him to start to establish something for himself if he is ready to do that, hopefully he is.

Q: Does a guy like Garrett Johnson have a chance to move up to the squad?

B: We would have to take somebody off the squad if we were going to move him up, it is possible.

Q: How is he doing?

B: Not bad, not bad. He is doing okay I mean Garrett is a hard-working kid that is real competitive I think he has made us better on offense because of that attitude and what he has brought to practice. Nugent, (Reggie) Grimes, Matt Chatham, O.J. (Olrick Johnson) all of those guys that work against our offense I think they help make the offense better and it has made him better. I think all of our young players are making a certain degree of improvement and Garrett's in there, Nugent, Reggie Grimes a lot of the young players we have talked about we see them on the upswing.

Q: It seemed like Chad (Eaton) was having a pretty good season so far, how instrumental was he on the line?

B: Chad has done a solid job for us. He is a big guy and you need that in the middle of the line somebody that is big and can move the pocket and not get driven off the ball and he has done a good job of that for us.

Q: Does Greg Spires have a chance to play more than he has been given his success as a pass rusher, is he okay against the run?

B: Well basically he plays Willie's (McGinest) position and he's kind of a regular in there on sub. He has been playing quite a bit on the pass rushing situations with Willie, but on the regular stuff he has played basically Willie's position. It is hard to get both of them in the game at the same time unless we were to change what we were doing a little bit. As Greg has continued to be productive in games on the other hand it is kind of hard to keep him on the field and you are looking for ways to get him more involved. So that is kind of a dilemma we are in as to whether to move him to another spot or rotate him with Willie or try to find some other way to be creative and get him in the game. Those are the options that you pretty much have every week.

Q: He takes (Chris) Slade's place right in the nickel?

B: Chris and Greg and Willie, the three of them kind of handle two positions in our sub-defense so that we can keep everybody fresh and try not to tire guys out on the field in passing situations. Those three handle really two spots for us.

Q: Any chance of (J.R.) Redmond starting this week?

B: The starting lineup thing isn't real big with me and a lot of who is in the game on the first play depends on what the first play happens to be, what personnel we have in the game or defensively what personnel they have in the game. If the first play happens to be a play in a grouping that he is involved in he may be in there, but it would be just a coincidence that that's the first play. He'll play, Kevin (Faulk) will play, they'll both have roles in the game and I am sure they will both be involved, but who will actually be out there for the first snap I couldn't even tell you right now.

Q: Is there an injury issue with Brandon Mitchell as well this week or is he okay?

B: Well he is questionable. It looks like, we haven't gone out yet, but it looks like he will be able to do some things out there today. He will probably as we come down to the wire here will know more as we get closer to game time. He hasn't done much to this point during the week, but again we will go out there today and see how much he can do. It is questionable.

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