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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Sep 18 - 12:00 AM | Sun Sep 20 - 05:55 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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            **B:**Yesterday we did what I think was some beneficial work for our football team. We did a lot of situational work. We practiced inside here in the stadium and got in some end of the game type situations so when you are working against yourself you are ahead and behind at the same time. So I think that was good. We spent some time this morning going over those things and just generally tried to clean up some areas that were either ones that we need to devote a little more time to or that we are not doing as well as we need to do. Things like that and we will continue to do that today on the regular practice field, so that is where we are at today.  

Q: What makes it difficult for Ty Law to be on the opponents best receiver all of the time?

B: If you are playing strictly man-to-man coverage it's no problem. If you are playing any other type of coverage then depending on where that player is located then you would have to move a lot of people around if you always just match one guy up. So if you match him up only on man and not on zone then as soon as they see the match-up then it is man. Sometimes you do it anyway, but it kind of hurts your disguise if you don't do it the same way every time or at least have a package where it looks the same to the offense consistently.

Q: You mentioned that you were working a little bit on the two-minute situations, what specifically has been a problem with those late game situations offensively?

B: Well we haven't moved the ball into a scoring position and defensively a couple of times we have come up short and they have.

Q: Any particular reason offensively?

B: Well it is execution, it is more than one play. There's a number of plays that you can run and defensively they give you different looks, they blitz, they play zone, they play man and depending on how much yardage you need and how much time you have and utilization of time outs and all of that. I don't think we have had a lot of real clock management situations it's been more execution. Picking up the yardage that we need, getting sacked, having a penalty, defensively keeping the runners in bounds when the team is out of timeouts, giving up a third or fourth down completion when one play would get us off the field. It has been a number of things, but it has been a combination of factors. What we have tried to do is just re-address the awareness of the situation. Each week it is a little bit different with specific plays that the other team runs, but situationally there is carryover. That is what we are trying to get here is the situational carryover versus how to specifically play a particular pattern or a particular blitz how to handle it. Those kind of things you are always going to have to do week to week, this is more of an execution, communication, management awareness.

Q: Can you talk about the running game. On a couple occasions you had a chance in the fourth quarter to maybe run the ball for a few first downs and kind of put yourself in a better position. Is that an area that you really want to get better in and what goes into that?

B: Yes that is part of it like we did in the Denver game and like we didn't do in the Indianapolis game. So those possessions in the fourth quarter when you have the lead, one way or another you have got to make first downs whether it is throwing or running. Running obviously is the way to keep the clock moving and take some time off and so it is important to be able to do it then.

Q: Is it just harder because they are looking for you to run or are there things in that area you need to work on?

B: Yes in some respects, I don't know if harder is the word, but defensively most teams will play you a little bit differently in a running situation whatever their philosophy is, whether it is to blitz, or whether it is to play an eight man front, or whether it is to crash a lot of people down inside those type of things. Sometimes it is a little bit of a guessing game. You look at the tape in those type of situations and say, 'Well if we had on this play instead of that play we would have been in good shape', but they guessed right, or played into a tendency, or whatever you thing the reason was. Also it just comes down to the fact that at that point in the game the execution of being able to particularly block defenses that are shooting in the gaps, trying to penetrate, trying to create a negative play, trying to get you in the backfield, trying to cause a fumble sometimes you are more likely to see that type of a defense in that situation than you would just say in the middle of the first quarter.

Q: Andy Katzenmoyer, have you found the perfect situation for him yet? Is it still a work in progress?

B: Well right now Andy is just behind Ted Johnson and Tedy Bruschi. Those guys, of course you know Ted Johnson missed some time in preseason, but as they have been out there they have all gotten a chance to play and those two guys are playing pretty well so that has cut into Andy's playing time.

Q: He was such a ferocious player in college have you seen any of that on the field with him this year?

B: I think Andy has done a good job for us. We have had him in a lot of different situations. He has played more in the dime situations and nickel situations. He has played some in regular. We played a little 3-4 defense from time to time during the year so he has been involved in that. I think Andy has got good talent whether it is experience, confidence, new system, whatever I can't really put my finger on what it is or isn't, but all I can say is that Ted and Tedy right now are ahead of him. Whether he will at some point move ahead of them or whether he won't I don't know how that will play out in the future because I think Andy is a good athlete, he's strong, he's fast, he's a very smart player, he understands schemes and concepts well, he learns well, but those guys are playing a little better than him right now.

Q: Can he play (Chris) Slade's position?

B: We haven't played him very much in that spot mainly because in the beginning of the year when Ted (Johnson) was out and then Tedy (Bruschi) was out with a broken hand that we were playing him more inside. Could he play out there? He might be able to.

Q: The players have been talking about making plays, the theme you keep hearing, yet it seems that there has been plenty of opportunities to make plays like Tebucky (Jones), Antonio Langham, fourth down (Drew) Bledsoe throws the ball out of bounds as a coach, obviously you can't make the plays, but what do you do to address the situation or is it just the players situation?

B: No I think as a coach you keep addressing it. You keep working on the things that help you to execute better. I think anytime that you are in some of the situations that we have been in ahead in the fourth quarter, or coming down the field at the end of the fourth quarter to go ahead or tie the game or whatever the situation is you have to make some plays through three and a half, fifty minutes whatever it is. You have to make some plays through that period of time to get to that point. You can't have a nine-point lead with ten minutes to go in the game and not make any plays, you just can't do it. Things have to be done along the way and things need to be done at crunch time in the fourth quarter. I think it is continuing to build the awareness and maybe the confidence of the players to be able to execute in those particular situations. Whether it is gap blitzes or two-minute situations that don't come up in the second quarter or the third quarter because that is not the situation. Whether it is defensively, the tightness of the coverage that you want to play if you are trying to get the ball back or keeping a runner in bounds which isn't an issue until you come right to the end of the half. Those are things that are a little bit different that you try to emphasize and make a point of and then there are other plays that are just plays that carryover into that situation that sometimes they are executed better at other points in the game than they are at the end for, I am not sure what the reason is.

Q: As a coach, I guess that is kind of the point I am trying to get to that when it comes to crunch time it is the same story as Wilt Chamberlain. He was the best foul shooter on his team in practice he would make 98 percent of his shots in the game he would make 48 percent there are guys like that…

B: That's hard for me to believe.

Q: I'm not sure he ever made 98 percent.

B: I am not sure he did either. I am not sure about Wilt making 98 percent of his foul shots on any day.

Q: Maybe it was 88 percent?

B: Okay.

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            **Q: No but there are guys who make the plays in the first quarter, but they don't make them with a minute to go in the game?**  

B: Well there is an old saying, one that was taught to me a long time ago in football and I think there is a lot of truth in it, 'In times of stress think of players not plays', and I think there is a lot to be said for that. That's a philosophy that I have tried to maintain for a long time and I am not saying that you can do it a 100 percent of the time, but you try to do it the majority of the time, think of the players not the plays. Rather than run a play that may be a good play, but who is running that play you are better off running another play where you know who is handling the ball, you know who the key people are in the play and those are the people you want to have making the final decision, when to cut, when to throw it, what route to run or adjust to or that type of thing. You can't always do it especially in the passing game because you can't always ensure who the ball is going to go to, but when you call those plays and you make those decisions I think a lot of times that my thinking is, and I think a lot of other coaches think the same way, to get the ball to the people you want to have handling the ball or defensively put the pressure on the people you want the pressure on not the guys you don't want it on.

Q: Offensively how would you put it in your head to do the play-call, have you had any…

B: Charlie (Weis) and I talk all the time about our offensive system, our game plan, what we are doing. We talk about what we are going to do in the game and we usually follow that plan. Then if something happens, game situation changes, the defense does something that's not quite, I mean it is not something that we weren't expecting but this is their strategy in the game, this is how things have shifted a little bit, you make your adjustments. Clearly Charlie and Dante (Scarnecchia) do most of it, but we talk about everything that we are going to do.

Q: You have the headset on and you are part of the conversation?

B: At times. I also talk to the defensive coaches and the players so there are times when I am not on it, but on things which we talk about ahead of time, if there are any critical things that are coming up in the game then we will talk about them prior to those things happening and a lot of times Charlie and I talk in-between series, 'Hey this is what I am thinking about doing this series is there anything else that you want, okay'. We converse about or we talk about, 'Hey this is the situation where we want to do x, y and z right?' or 'No not really here is the problem if we do that. Okay then maybe we don't do it.'

Q: This is the first time Charlie has not had it taken away from him at this, am I right didn't Bill (Parcells) usually take it away from him at this time of year?

B: I wasn't involved in the offensive play calling down there so what actually happened on those headsets I wasn't really involved in those conversations.

Q: The Bills/Jets game on Sunday will you watch it and what is your take on that game, how is it going to play out?

B: If it is on I might watch some of it. Playing Buffalo in two weeks I am interested to see what they are doing and what is different with (Doug) Flutie compared to Rob Johnson. Although we have seen enough of Flutie that my sense is there isn't going to be anything there that's too far off of what we already know they are about. I think it is always interesting, in this situation it is always interesting for us to watch the Jets play because their system is pretty similar to ours and you can get a pretty good indication of how an opponent is going to attack us, not exactly, but you can get a pretty good indication of what their thinking is from a scheme standpoint, not personnel but a scheme standpoint of how they are going to attack us based on what they do against the Jets. I am sure that is true for the Jets as well to look at us on offense or defense gives them some idea of what type of schemes that they will be facing. So from that standpoint it's a good game to watch. We always go through each week, we look at the team that our opponent has played, usually it is the week before the week of the game so there is enough lead time in there to look and see which games are the best games to watch based on what the opponents are doing similar to what we are doing. For example Miami defensively isn't a real great game for us to watch because the way they play defense is different from the way that we play defense. Obviously they are a good football team I am not saying that, but I am just saying the styles are a little bit different. Offensively as we have gotten to a little bit more of a two back offensive system Miami offensively is not a bad game to watch because they are in a lot of two back offensive sets. Whereas if we are running a lot of one back offensive sets like we were earlier in the year then that game might not be quite as good to watch because the adjustments that a defense would make against a one back and two back a lot of times are different. A lot of times not always so we try to pick out the games and the Bills/ Jets game would be a good game for us to watch and be interested in because the Bills attacking the Jets will have some carryover to what they do to us I am sure.

Q: Have you talked to the team about how you approach the second half of the season now with six losses?

B: Yes we have talked about it. We talked about not so much the first eight games as the next eight or the next one and moving forward into the next seven after that. We talked about it yesterday, talked about it today, tried to set some goals and some things to improve upon. Mentioned some areas that we want to focus and put extra attention on both based on things that have happened in the past, but also things that we anticipate happening in the future. One thing that is coming up in the next eight games, seven of the eight games coming up that really hasn't happened at all in the first eight games is weather conditions. We have had very few games were weather has been much of a factor. Wind was a little bit of a factor in a couple of games, the second half of the Jet game and a little bit in the Minnesota game, but for the most part it has been a minimal factor. The second half of the season we are playing four games in New England. We also play in Cleveland, in Chicago and in Buffalo and I think that there is a good chance that in every one of those games it could happen, but I am sure somewhere along the line weather will be a major factor in some of those seven games. So that is something that hasn't really been an issue. It obviously won't be an issue against Detroit, but at some point it will be an issue and those are the types of things looking forward that we have talked about and worked on particularly in the kicking game where those conditions effect you a lot. We have worked on those things even though they haven't even really surfaced in the first eight games. So we say, 'Okay look we are running kickoff returns and they are kicking into a strong wind. Okay Adam (Vinatieri) we want you to kick the ball to about the twenty yard line not a normal kickoff.' So we move up and play the situation or maybe he squib kicks it to try to simulate it and as we get those conditions then we will utilize them in practice. That's an example of the type of things we are doing. Trying to look ahead, again trying to address the problems that we have had some specific some more general.

Q: Will you go out trick or treating?

B: Do I look like a trick or treater? That is my favorite holiday Halloween that would be number one.

Q: They put out a list of players' favorite costumes, did you ever have a favorite one growing up?

B: It wasn't so much the costume it was getting the candy from the different houses. Sometimes you would have to go back and put on a different mask so you could make the rounds again. You make that first round through and see what everybody is handing out and then go back do the quick switch and hit the ones that you want to hit again and don't go to the one that gives you a stick of gum. Go back and get those Snickers bars.

Q: Any monsters that scared you when you were young?

B: Well I didn't have any siblings so I didn't get intimidated that way. A couple of guys I tried to cover on lacrosse in high school they were monsters.

Q: How would you characterize the general mood of the team?

B: Well in one word, probably, two words disappointed but not discourage. Nobody is happy about the record, but I don't think that anybody has given up. I don't think anybody has stopped working and I really don't think anybody has lost confidence. I don't think anybody feels that we are not going to go out and do better the next week regardless of who it is against and I don't think it really makes any difference what the competition is and we have played some good teams. I don't see anybody backing down, I don't see anybody giving up and those are the type of players that we are looking for. I think we all legitimately feel that if we continue to work on and address the things that we need to improve that we will in fact improve them. I think there is plenty of evidence this year that the players can see that when we have done that we have improved certain areas we just haven't improved enough of them yet and that's our goal. I don't think anybody is going to rest or relax or feel good about it until that happens. I think there is determination and that's the way it should be. Anytime you get into a challenging situation then really all about you can do is reach down, support each other and try to build your way out of it. I think that is what we are trying to do.

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