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Bill Belichick Press Conf.

Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, MABill Belichick speaks to the press



            **B:** There is not much new to report here. The injuries are the same. It is pretty much a normal week of preparation other than being that we played recently when you start going back and looking at film we just end up looking at our film and the Seattle game. I mean that is really the only new information that we have since the last time we played the Colts so that is where the majority of our focus has been. This is a team that we know pretty well and they know us pretty well so there is a good background of information plus we played them recently so we're just trying to fill up the tank and get the preparation level up to the highest that we can.  

Q: How did (Chad) Eaton and (Brandon) Mitchell look yesterday, did they do anything?

B: Yes Brandon practiced and Chad just did a little bit, but they're coming along.

Q: Indianapolis got the pass rush going last week?

B: Yes they got ahead and it is the same old story it turned into a one-dimensional game and that is the time to unleash it. They have good speed on the defensive line and those guys play hard (Mike) Peterson, (Chad) Bratzke, (Bernard) Whittington, Ellis Johnson those guys are good competitors. They work hard and they have got good upfield speed so if they get the edge on blockers they can accelerate and get to the quarterback.

Q: How much faster are they on turf at home as opposed to the field here?

B: I think everybody is a little bit quicker on turf, but an advantage is with the crowd noise and getting off on the snap and offensive linemen being late off the ball and that kind of thing. So I think it is a combination they are a little bit quicker on turf and the crowd noise and the takeoff and all of that is an advantage.

Q: Do you see more of difference with a team that has a home field advantage on turf?

B: I think you see a little bit more of an advantage of the dome teams on turf. Like the Jacksonville game is a good example. They got ahead in that one early and they were able to unleash it and the crowd was into it, it was a Monday night game and there was a lot of noise. They got off on the ball and were able to penetrate the pocket and get the edge on the blockers and be disruptive.

Q: Last year this team had trouble with false starts at Kansas City, what is your philosophy on preparing for that, do you pipe in noise?

B: You know we don't need to pipe in any noise because with the construction going on out there you can't hear anything half the time anyway. We talked about noise, but we couldn't make it as noisy as it is already. We work on that every week, home or away. I think that type of thing adds an emphasis. It forces you as a team, as an offensive group and like on a punt and field goal team where there is communication and snap count involved and that type of thing, it puts an emphasis on it and reminds everybody on how it is going to be. I think there is something to be said for that.

Q: Are the Colts doing anything different in terms of their running game now as opposed to when you saw them the last time, are they doing anything technically different to get (Edgerrin) James more involved?

B: The Colts kind of have a similar game plan every week in that they have a core group of plays, there are certain plays that they run every week. Then each week they have a group of plays that are just specific plays for that team. A couple of plays that we got we hadn't seen prior to our game and frankly we didn't see them last week in Seattle. Then there were a couple of plays that they ran against Seattle that hadn't shown up in quite awhile and we don't know whether we will get them or not. In other words they take a few plays in the running game, maybe two or three plays in the running game and then maybe a handful of passes and they are new. Each week, I don't care what team you are, each week you are going to get that handful of what we call gameplan plays. They are just going to show up in that one game and then not for another period of time whenever they decide to dial them up again. That is what they did against Seattle and I am sure that is what they will do against us. It is what they did against Buffalo, it is kind of what they do against everybody. They run their core stuff and then they do something specific for you that you really haven't seen or you can't work on because you don't know they are going to do it. Then you have to decide how much of those things that you have seen in other games do you really want to work on. Would they do it against you or was that just for Kansas City and they are not going to do it against you.

Q: Did they run the fullback more than they did against you guys against Seattle, not running the fullback, but having the I basically?

B: Yes they used (Jim) Finn in the backfield he played basically, I think Finn played about ten plays. Yes they never run the fullback, never, I mean maybe a couple of times a season. Yes they played Finn some instead of (Marcus) Pollard, but again that is part of their gameplan deal and in that particular case it wasn't really new plays, it was just Finn doing it instead of Pollard. They do that, with their personnel sometimes they change the formation around or change the group around to try to disguise the look and then do the things that they want to do, the core plays the things they are comfortable with.

Q: How does your preparation change with a guy like (Edgerrin) James this week as compared to Curtis Martin last week?

B: We try to emphasize the things that James does that are different from what Curtis does. If you try to tell the scout team running backs how he is going to run certain plays even though plays may kind of look the same on a diagram the way a team actually runs them and the emphasis of the play, what they tell the blockers and what they tell the runners and that type of thing, you try to get your players to run that to so that the play doesn't look a lot different in the game then it looks in practice. Sometimes that happens, your player runs the play and runs it the way he sees it not necessarily the way that they really emphasize it and sometimes that can screw you up. Then in terms of tackling James has a certain style of running. As a big back he is very powerful he breaks a lot of tackles and we do tackling drills that reflect that style of running, emphasize wrapping the runners up and running threw them and keeping their legs moving and not stopping on contact and things like that.

Q: Peyton Manning admitted that your defense has impressed him over the last couple of games, what have you guys done differently that other teams have not?

B: I don't know, that's a nice compliment. I haven't studied what every single other team has done against him so I couldn't compare us to somebody else. All we try to do is keep the score down and it is hard, it's hard.



            **Q: Have you changed things each time you have played him obviously you have your sets, but have you tried to put in different wrinkles each time against him?**  

B: Well yes we try to keep him off balance a little bit. I don't think you want to just do the same thing against Peyton Manning every play and think that is really going to get it done over the long haul because once he sees it he is pretty good, he knows what to do with the ball. He is kind of like playing against (Dan) Marino. You can give them some different looks but they catch on pretty quickly and in the end it is going to come down to how well you can do it not how tricky you can be and how much you are going to be deceptive with him because you are not going to fool him very many times. I think you want to try to keep him off-balance a little bit, but then you are limited by how much you can do effectively. I don't think you want to be drawing up stuff in the dirt against Manning because they have too good of a team, they are too well balanced and if you don't execute it properly he'll find the soft spots. Honestly I don't feel that we have ever just shut him down.

Q: His number versus your defenses are significantly lower then anybody else he plays so you have found something?

B: Let me tell you when I am standing over on the sideline and watching him, whatever he threw for 350 yards the last time we played them, you don't feel like it is a lot of three and outs, you know one, two, three, punt and that you have got them in a ballet offense or anything like that. They move up and down the field, there was one point in the game there where they must have had the ball for a quarter and ended up with two field goals. We had the kickoff return and the Hail Mary. They had the ball the last half of the second quarter and more than the first half of the third quarter I mean we are out there all day. You're hanging on.

Q: What happened on defense last week as compared to the first six weeks?

B: I don't think we played real well last week and our opponents did. We had some of the same problems. We had defensive holding problems against the Colts and we had them against the Jets. It wasn't like the Denver game was perfect and it wasn't like the Colts game was perfect we were able to make a few more plays. As a team we played better. Against Denver and against the Colts we held the ball we weren't on the field as much defensively. We had better field position, the offense had a lot to do with that and so did special teams and we played better on defense. I think it was a total team effort. We didn't play as well on defense and other things went wrong too. Turnovers, field position, we didn't help the offense out defensively by creating a lot of turnovers. We got one on the strip sack on Vinny (Testaverde) but other than that we didn't create much field position and defensively we had done that in the Colts game and the Denver game. We had set up some opportunities for the offensive score on a short field. You are helping each other out and we didn't do a good job of that.

Q: To get back to Manning for a minute how much of an advantage do you think it was for him to grow up in the atmosphere that he did with a father who has been through the whole thing?

B: I am sure it was helpful. When I was with the Colts my first year in the league Burt Jones was the quarterback and Burt of course grew up with his father Doug who played for the Browns. I remember talking to Burt about that a lot coming from a kind of a football family myself and I know that he felt it was very helpful. Hanging around training camp and being with players. Seeing how guys approach it even though when you are 8 years old you are not really studying that but you just sort of through osmosis learn how to be a professional, how to do things, you admire players that are successful and I am sure you pick up their positive traits. I just remember talking to Burt a lot about that and I know it was a real positive experience for him and I'm sure with the type of player that Archie was that Peyton couldn't help but benefit from that experience. I can kind of relate to that too. As a kid growing up watching Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach and guys like that at the Naval Academy. You can't help but want to emulate what they are doing. Not only there success, but just them way they go about it on a day-to-day basis. I think even at that point in your life sometimes you may don't even realize what you are doing, but you look back on it and say, 'Boy that was a great experience.' I can't speak for Peyton, but I can't imagine it was anything but positive.

Q: Human nature being what it is if your team continues to struggle how do you keep from there being finger pointing in the locker room?

B: Well I mean that is such a hypothetical question I don't know what is going to happen. I don't know what is going to happen today, I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, I don't know what is going to happen this week, next week or any other week. You tell me exactly what is going to happen and maybe I could tell you how I would handle it, I don't know. I don't know exactly what the events are or what they are going to be so I don't try to look at it that way. I try to look at it as where are we right now, what is the best thing that we can do and try to take into consideration from a total team standpoint, but also looking maybe individually at some of the players and the type of players that you have on your team, what's the best thing for your football team regardless of what your record is or whether you are playing at home or away or who the opponent is or anything else. It is something you do on a daily basis and a weekly basis.

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