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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 18 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 23 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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



            **B:** Just a quick follow-up here from yesterday, not really too much new from what we saw yesterday afternoon. I think the bottom-line on this game against the Colts was very similar to the Jet game, the first Jet game. We were in pretty good position and we didn't do a good job at all of finishing the game in the fourth quarter. Yesterday we made what I would consider ten critical mistakes in many different areas that were breakdowns and mistakes on our part. We couldn't convert on third down on offense, penalties on defense, we didn't execute well when we needed to and very similar to the Jet game, same situation. We're in good position in the fourth quarter and couldn't hold on to the ball, didn't make plays defensively, had opportunities to end the game or put the game pretty much out of reach and didn't take advantage of them. That is something that we obviously have to do moving forward. We need to finish plays, finish games, finish games in the fourth quarter and take advantage of those opportunities that we have and that is definitely one of those things that we need to address here. This bye week I think gives us an opportunity to put more time, not that we haven't put time into it because we have, but more time into the things that are most critical to our success or failure as a football team and that's what we intend to do. We are going to take a couple of days here, today and tomorrow, to evaluate the areas that we feel like are the most critical. There are a number of things, but there are always things and you have to prioritize them somehow and that's what we will do. Give us a little breath of fresh air. I think everybody can use a little break. I think the coaches can use it, I think the players can use it, but I think also we have to take advantage of the extra time we have to address the things that are most critical to our success as a football team and that's what I plan on doing, that's what we plan on doing. When we come back in here and the next time we step on the field I expect everybody to have a positive attitude, to play well, to play better, and to win. I expect that for the rest of the season. That is what we are going to try to do.  

Q: How far away do you think you are in terms of becoming a winning football team this season?

B: I don't know, I really don't know. Until we do it I think it is just talk and that's cheap. Once we do it then I think that will really be the answer to the question. I mean I could sit up here and say anything, but it doesn't really matter. Until we do it that's all anybody cares about, most of all us.

Q: What's your number one priority, what are the areas?

B: There are a number of things, but that is what we are going to spend the next couple of days on.

Q: Do you have a top three?

B: I could give you ten things that we could work on right off the top of my head, but I think it is hard to do ten things in one day or two days. It is hard to emphasize ten things. I think you need to pick out the things that are most important and make sure that when you, in this situation when we walk off the field at the end of the week we want to say, 'Look we have addressed these areas and we are definitely better in these areas when we are walking off the field' and that's the way I want to feel on Friday. When we walk off the field on Friday I want to feel like we put time into these areas, we improved them and I know we are better at them now then we were and whichever they are then that's what our goal will be.

Q: You won't specify specifically whether it's pass coverage or…

B: Look I said it could be ten things. We are going to have to decide which ones they are. We are going to meet together as a staff offensively, defensively, special teams, we are going to get together. We could pick out three now but I don't know that those are the most important three. We are going to look at our games, we are going to go back and look at games by situation, we are going to talk about players, talk about personnel, talk about schemes, talk about our future opponents. I mean there is no sense in talking about something now that was maybe real important in three or four of the other games that we have already played that has no chance of coming up for the rest of the season. If you don't think a team on the rest of your schedule is going to run a two tight end offense, even though you may have had problems defending the two tight end offense, I mean I don't know maybe somebody else could do it, but I don't know that you want to devote two or three days to practicing on something even though that was a problem three games ago, or two games ago. So those are the things that you have got to take into consideration. Are they worth working on? Yes sure there are a lot of things that you could work on, but I think you have got to try take everything into consideration and decide what is best for your football team. That is what we are going to try to do.

Q: Can you draw from your experience last year with the Jets, you had a similar record were there any other similarities?

B: I guess there are some the records are similar, but every team has their own issues, every single team. We have to take a good look at where ours are and look at where our opportunities are and try to make the most of them. I think that is the best thing that we can do not worry about other teams or other situations because they are all different, every one is different.

Q: Did you have any preconceived idea when the season started as to where you might be at this juncture and how would you have got there?

B: No not really I mean at the beginning of the season all you can do is prepare for the Tampa game or the Tampa game and the Jet game. In August you are not thinking about the second Colt game or you are not thinking about the first Buffalo game or you are not thinking about the Cincinnati game. You are thinking about getting your team ready for the Tampa game and how do you generally want to play the next fifteen games. What your basic scheme is going to be. What you feel like you want to have as a base in your system and how you basically want to try to use your personnel. Then you have to adjust it as you go. Whether it is week-by-week changes or sometimes maybe you make a little more significant change in the bye week because there is a little more time. But no I don't think you are thinking about the Cincinnati game when you open with Tampa that is the furthest thing from your mind.

Q: Going into the first Tampa game you had a pretty good idea of what you had at a lot of positions are you surprised that you have only won two games since them based on how you felt then about the team, did you think this team would won more than two games by this time?

B: Going into the Tampa game I think there were a lot of unanswered questions. I mean you go with what you know from preseason which we had five preseason games, but I think at that time I said and I would say now that there is always a difference between the regular season and the preseason particularly with a new team. Sometimes, again, if you have a lot of carryover from the previous year then sometimes your preseason is just a prelude to the regular season and a lot of things you know are going to happen a certain way because you have a season or two seasons or multiple season with that system and with a lot of those players and that's a pretty stable situation there are always changes from year to year. In our case I thought that we tried to accomplish a lot of things in preseason to find out about the team, but I think we found out a lot more about this team in the regular season then we found out in preseason. I don't think there is any question about that. That's been an ongoing process.

Q: Evaluation of personnel, will that enter into some of your plans, some things that you will want to look at specifically, guys?

B: Oh sure, yes, personnel, scheme, again, with a little bit of an eye toward the future opponents. Yes definitely they all do and we made a couple of personnel moves this week prior to the game and those moves as all moves were made with the intention of trying to make our team better and to try to improve it in some area. That is not to say that any of the players who weren't active or that were released or anything else didn't contribute or didn't have a role it's you only have forty five players at the game, you only have 53 on your roster and you have to take the ones that are most important to you for the roles that they do. If we could dress 50 we'd dress 50 and they would all contribute, but we can't do that. We have to pick the 45 that we feel are the most productive for us and that is a decision that we made this with a couple of guys and it is a decision we will make in the bye week and go into the next week. So that will definitely be a part of it and if we are going to make a change then at least when you do it in the bye week it gives you a little bit more time to try to fit everything together.



            **Q: Can you talk about J.R. Redmond, is he what you thought he would be?**  

B: I think J.R. as I have said is making progress through the season. I think he is continuing to gain some experience and I think that's a positive for him and he is able to use it. I thought he did okay yesterday. We had good blocking on the offensive line. There were a lot of good holes to run through and he ran hard, Kevin (Faulk) did too. He lost the ball one time, which you would like to erase that, but he ran the ball hard and he caught some passes.

Q: If Redmond is developing as he seems to be week after week, he didn't have any preseason because of the injury, is it more likely that he will into run into that rookie wall because he kind of progressed during the season instead of hitting the wall like a lot of rookies do?

B: It is a good question, that's a real good question. I am not sure I know the answer to it. All rookies are different. You can say, 'Well this is what is going to happen to a rookie or that is what is going to happen to a rookie', the situation with everyone is different. I think that, in fact we were talking about this in a staff meeting last week, J. R. right now is at about the point where he would be after a normal training camp and preseason because you are only practicing once a day, really two times a week Wednesday and Thursday, Friday is kind of a light practice. You get in training camp and you are going twice a day in pads it takes a few regular season weeks to equal a training camp week. The fact that he started late and only got minimal reps at the end of training camp for the reasons of A) he was behind and B) we were trying to build him into condition and build him into game readiness, but now it has taken a longer amount of time for that really to take place and I think this is about that same time frame it is just the end of October instead of the beginning of September.

Q: He looks like a player that as a spectator you can watch him week after week and he does make strides and pretty dramatic ones. The Denver game he has a touchdown catch, but this week was really a step forward do you see that as a coach like we do, you see him everyday, but we see him every week?

B: I see the progress everyday. I have been saying that J.R. has made steady progress from the middle of August until the end of October and you can come off the field, and he still makes mistakes like all players do, but they are fewer and the degree of difficulty of the plays is usually now higher when there is a mistake rather than it being a real simple thing like it might have been a month ago or six weeks ago. Now it is something that is a lot more difficult that I don't know if he would even of had a chance to get it right a month ago where now, okay now he sees it now he understands it. We had a couple of blitzes in the game yesterday he stepped up and did a good job on blitz pickup. Again, when you are a running back there are a lot of things you have got to do. Sometimes you just hand him the ball and that's not all that easy either, but there is blitz pickup, there's pass routes, there's recognition of fronts and defenses particularly on third down when they have, like Indianapolis did, where they used a lot of sub-defenses where there are five and six defensive backs and identifying the defensive back as a linebacker instead of a safety which is what he really is but in sub he becomes a linebacker. Those things they are not that easy they take a little bit of time. So there is definitely progress there, yes and I see it on a consistent basis. He has worked harder maybe since he was inactive for a couple of weeks there, but he has worked harder and he has made steady improvement.

Q: Does that help Kevin's (Faulk) situation? I mean if J.R. can establish himself in one role then it kind of alleviates Kevin's need to be running back, featured back, third down back, do you have a better backfield if J.R. assumes a steady role?

B: I think that is a possibility yes. I think that may be our best mix is for J.R. to be more of a first and second down back and Kevin to be more of a third down back. We talked about that, again it has been a little bit hard to identify what J.R.'s role is going to be because we really haven't seen enough of him in game situations. We have seen him in practice and all of that, but now we are starting to get a better feel for him too, where his dependability is, where his problems lie, what things he is okay at, what things he is really pretty good at. We have a much better feel with Kevin because A) he was here last year and you could see him do some things, but B) he was here in training camp and he got a lot of repetitions there. I think that is a pretty healthy situation for us. I am not sure that either one of those players would be best playing every single play of the game on offense. So I think breaking that up so that is doesn't restrict us, but actually in fact enhances it that is what we are looking for. The last few weeks I feel like we are getting closer to where we need to be on that.

Q: Do you as a coach look for whatever specific combination works or does every coach strive to have a featured back like Edgerrin James or Curtis Martin?

B: Sure I think if you have Jim Brown you are not looking for another one you are lucky if you have one. A guy that is a big back that can stay in the game on every down is a big advantage for you because he can run with power, he can pick up the blitz and if he can catch the ball then on third down you have a guy that can receive and be a blitz pick up guy and you still have power running threat. It is not like you are handing the ball to a smaller, quicker back. You still have the same element of the running game on third down that you have on first and second down and that is usually easier for your line too so you don't have to try to get into a whole different style of runs because you bring a different style of back in on third down. Yes that would be the ideal thing to do get Jim Brown and give him the ball and let him play every play. Edgerrin James you know I can see why they are doing what they are doing I think I would probably do the same thing if I was coaching the Colts put him out there on every down. He's big, he picks up the blitz well, he catches the ball well, he can run inside, he can run outside, they split him out so you wouldn't really be gaining anything bringing somebody else in as long as he is healthy and has got good stamina all of that which he certainly appears to have.

Q: You mentioned a number of things you could address of those things how many did you see in the final six minutes yesterday?

B: Like I said we had at least ten key mistakes in the fourth quarter and I am sure some of those things will come into the spotlight this week. Again I just can't sit here and tell you right now that this is what we are going to work on because there are a lot of things that we could work on, but I do think what we need to do is pick out certain things to work on to ensure that they get sufficiently improved so that there will be a difference. I have done it the other way where you go out there and say, 'Okay we are going to run eight plays of inside runs, six plays of outside runs, five plays of play action passes, six plays of drop back passes, three plays of short yardage, three plays of goal line, eight plays of third down, six plays of red area.' Okay so there is forty plays at practice but it is kind of one of everything. Then you walk off the field and say, 'Okay we had a good practice or we didn't have a good practice', but it is hard in a practice like that to walk off the field and say, 'Okay we got the inside running game worked on today. I can really see where we are blocking it better. The guys have a better understanding of how to fit. The backs understand the reads a little bit better. Okay great, and this is how the play action pass is going to go with that.' It is just hard to do that when you are spread out like that and that is how you usually do it in a regular season preparation week because you can't spend one day on the inside running game and one day on play action passes, I mean there are not enough days. You kind of have to take those segments build them all in together, do it on Wednesday and Thursday, review it on Friday and you are at the game. So this week gives us a chance to be a little bit more specific and detailed and again try to move to higher ground on some of the execution of those things we just have to try to decide which ones we think are the most important.



            **Q: Was (Chad) Eaton close to going on Sunday?**  

B: Yes I think Chad was probably about where Willie (McGinest) was in Miami or where Brandon (Mitchell) was last week against the Jets. I think if we played this week that there would probably be a pretty good chance that he would be able to play whatever that pretty good is 61 percent, or 57 percent, or 72 percent you know I don't know.

Q: Yesterday's performance by the offensive line, how do you attribute the changes and the shuffling?

B: On the offensive line first of all on the performance I would say that, again, yesterday's game was very similar to the first Jet game. We moved the ball, we controlled the ball in terms of time possession and all of that. We got down in the red area. We couldn't always get into the end zone, and in the fourth quarter we couldn't hang onto the ball or score again however you want characterize it. So were there good things? There were definitely a lot of good things. Was it good enough, was it complete? No. So that is the bottom-line. The chemistry on the offensive line, I mean I would kind of say the same thing that I said about the running back situation, if you know from day one who your five best linemen are and you know that they are going to be your five best linemen and they continue to play well at an acceptable level then I don't think you ever want to change those five guys. You would just be putting in a guy who is worse than somebody who is already in there and you are breaking up the continuity of the group. If you had five guys that as a coach you are sure those are your best players and they are performing well and that's the group that you think needs to be in there I don't see any reason at all to change it. The situation that we have been in from day one, from the first day of training camp the number one question is who are our best five out there. No who is the best right guard because the best right guard may be the best right tackle or whatever the case might be. Who are our best five and that's been an ongoing process. Some of the guys, three of the five guys on the offensive line weren't playing in the first or second week of the regular season. Three of the five guys weren't in training camp on the first day of training camp, not all the same people. The only guy that has been there is Woody. Woody was at center the first day of training camp, Woody has been at center basically all the way through other than a few plays her got knocked out there at the Jet game. Every other position has been one way or another, for one reason or another has been somewhat in a state of flux. I feel like each week we have gotten closer to getting our best and most consistent and I feel like we are making progress on the offensive line. I think it is a lot better, our offensive line play now is a lot better than it was eight weeks ago, nine weeks ago, ten weeks ago. The end of the preseason, the first few games of the regular season, I mean our play is much better and I think some of that is partly the players who are in there. I think some of it is them playing together more. I think some of it is us adjusting to what they can do now that it is easier to define who those players are. I think it is a combination of all three of those things. If we could have taken this group the first day of training camp and started with them obviously I think we would be further ahead than where we are right now, but we couldn't do that and I am not making an excuse that is just the way it was and nobody cares. Every other team has had situations like that on their team to. I am not moaning about it I am just saying that is the way it has been and I don't think we are finished. I am not sure that we are finished. I am not sure that we have the best combination out there together. I'm not sure. It was encouraging yesterday in a lot of things we did, but I think more evidence needs to come out.

Q: How disappointing is it to you have the same problems in the eighth game, not finishing it off, as you did in the second game obviously there has been some progress, but did you feel like you were past this point?

B: I think you are going to see games like that every week of the regular season somewhere in the league. Some team is going to be behind, some team is going to come back and win. That is the way the game is. I think you can find those types of games every week. We have had games where we were ahead and won and we have and we have had games where we have been ahead and lost. We have had games where we have been behind and come back and either almost won or won going back even to the preseason. So those kind of games what they come down to every week is how well you can perform at the critical times in the game and that's a function of all three units, offense, defense and special teams. Now the kicking game yesterday didn't really play a real significant part, I mean it was significant but not as much as the offense and defense were just because of the nature of the game and because of some of the players that were involved in it. They have an excellent kicker. A lot of kicks went into the end zone. The punts were high they really weren't very returnable on our side. (Terrance) Wilkins had a couple of decent returns, but those were off of long punts so that wasn't a great yardage differential there, but the offensive and defensive situations were critical and they were better that we were in the fourth quarter and that's when it counted.

Q: Aside from talent and coaching is there something that is inherent in a player that allows them to make the plays when they have to and what do you do if they don't have that?

B: I think that is certainly a question to consider. I mean there are some guys that do perform better in those situations than others. There are some guys in basketball that want the ball for the last shot and really there are always some guys that are kind of always covered. Nobody can ever quite get them the ball in that situation. I think that is probably true in every sport. So I think there is a certainly an element of it in the player, but I think also it is something that as a team you have to understand. Some of it is just plain execution under pressure. Some of it is purely situational like in the first Indianapolis game it was the end of the half, but the squib kick and the return of the squib kick was a situational play. The Hail Mary was a situational play. There were other plays yesterday that were just in the middle of the fourth quarter that were third and five, first and ten, second and eight whatever they were, those were just execution of a play. Whether it is momentum, whether it is confidence, I don't think it is conditioning, but it could be conditioning, but I don't think it is conditioning. I really don't, but maybe it is mental conditioning, but whatever it is those are all things that effect both as a team and individually.

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