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Patriots Unfiltered Tue Sep 29 | 11:55 AM - 02:00 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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            **B:** Well we are jumping on a treadmill that is moving pretty fast right now. As a staff we really haven't had time o spend much analysis on the Cincinnati game. I haven't even gotten all the way through the game myself. I will just say though that I think it was a good reward for team to be able to come on top and make plays at the end of the game and do things that we need to do to win the game. It was far from perfect, we had a number of things in the game that we still need to work on and do better there is no question about that, but the fact that we won a game was encouraging. We had some guys step up and play well and step in to fill in for guys, play hurt that type of thing and that's the time of year it is and it's a short week and it will be that way again this week, guys are playing with bumps and bruises and still have them go out there and perform well and we are going to need to reach down and get that from probably just about everybody on our team. We have already started the preparations on Detroit this morning, we will do a little walkthrough practice this afternoon to get going on them. We really only have one day of practice and that's tomorrow and Wednesday morning we cleanup a few things and then got on the plane and fly to Detroit. We have had a couple of these weeks earlier in the year just on a real accelerated schedule. The difference being that it is a regular season game and all of the guys that played in the game yesterday are going to have to reload it and be ready to go on Thursday against a good Detroit. A team that had a good win yesterday that is a real aggressive defensive team that is leading the league in turnovers. They have a physical running game, a physical offensive line and they are very tough on the line of scrimmage so that's what we are after this week. Injuries, I think we mentioned after the game that Grant Williams has got a bruise. We probably won't know until tomorrow what he will be able to do. We will go out there today, we are just going through walkthrough not really any kind of practice tempo so we will give everybody a day to kind of get over the bumps of the game. That was the only, at this point anyway, that was a notable injury in the game. The other guys that didn't play in the game hopefully are going to be closer to being back. We will try to evaluate them this afternoon if we can or tomorrow when we go out and practice for the first time against Detroit.  

Q: Will you practice in pads on Tuesday?

B: No we won't be in pads at all this week.

Q: When you did have those games in the preseason when you did have the short week was it against Detroit?

B: Yes it was the Monday night Hall of Fame game and then the Friday game against Detroit and then the Sunday afternoon preseason game against Tampa and then the Thursday night game against Carolina.

Q: Have you given your staff run throughs about having the same scenario now?

B: Yes, sure. In terms of having the scouting report done earlier and accelerating the gameplan preparations and skipping the, not skipping, but going through the game film much quicker from the previous day, having things ready for the players when they come in today as opposed to normally not having them ready fully until Wednesday. So a lot of things need to be run off, you know the organizational part of it. We did play Detroit in the preseason so I mean that was a long time ago, but there is still some carryover in what we are doing and what they are doing, so some of that is applicable certainly a number of things are different.

Q: In the case of Detroit and Dallas where they do this all the time, has it become so common that it is an advantage for them?

B: I was in Detroit for two years and from being out there in those two years and of course it had been a long standing tradition at that point, but it is just something that everybody is used to. You do it every year, there is no doubt about how they are going to handle Thanksgiving, how they are going to handle the short week. Wednesday after practice they will have the Turkey and the stuffing all laid out in the locker room like they have done for years and years and that is just the way they do it and they know they are going to play at home every Thanksgiving day every year. So that is just part of the routine and for every other team, except for Dallas as you mentioned, it is a little bit of a different routine. Plus the fact that you have to go on the road and you are not only on a short week, but you are traveling on a short week. Like I said the two years that I was out there it was a short week and it was in a normal routine, but it wasn't anything that I think any player or coach felt really uncomfortable with because of the familiarity of doing it in the past. I think for everybody else it is a little bit more of an adjustment, but the bottom line is playing well and executing well and doing as much preparation as you can in a short week so that you are fully ready to go. Sometimes those games end up being division games. I think when I was there we might have played Chicago. When you play a division a team like that, that all falls into place a lot more quickly than if the team is brand new. I know that was tough when (Tom) Landry was at Dallas. Especially in those days, it was a little while ago, but when Landry was doing all of the shifting, multiple formations and the motion and all of that, relative to the rest of the league it was so much different than the other teams you played that playing in Dallas on Thanksgiving was really a nightmare because most of the time when you played Dallas you were barely ready for them by Sunday and when you shorten it, with all of the formation and the multiple plays and all of the different things that they do they were tough to get ready for in a couple of days. That was a bear. When I was in New York we played Detroit on Thanksgiving. That was the game that (Lawrence) Taylor intercepted the pass and ran it back 98 yards or whatever it was to win that game. I think he may not have started that game. I think that may have been the only game he didn't start. Anyway he was kind of questionable for the game and then came in. It didn't look like he lost too much speed on that interception return.

Q: Is there a tendency with a short week to keep the game plan similar with the week before?

B: Absolutely. I think what you want to try to do on a short week is to do as many things as you can that carry over from the previous week. Now sometimes that just isn't possible because of the scheme you are playing against, but when it possible, just because you don't get any reps or any practice at it, it is a lot easier if you can maintain the same adjustments because again you just have so few practice plays if something new comes up it is a lot easier just to make it, 'Well we will do it the same as we did last week,' on pass protection, or on blitzes, or any type of adjustments that you have to make. As much as you can keep them the same I think that is certainly to your advantage from a preparation standpoint and you just count the reps that you had on the previous week as part of a carryover into this week.

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            **Q: The Lions had a trauma of sorts when their coach quit on them, but they seem to be responding very well to Gary Moeller, if yesterday was any indication?**  

B: Yes they do. That was a big win for them against the Giants. Gary has been around a long time. I have known Gary for years and he did an outstanding job at Michigan and then made the transition in the NFL at Cincinnati and Detroit. He is a good, solid football coach. I think he is a nuts and bolts kind of guy and that's the way his teams were at Michigan. He is very personable guy. I think that a lot of people in the coaching fraternity knew him because everybody has to go into Michigan I mean they always have players. He did a real good job there and Gary and I go back a long way, I have a lot of respect for him.

Q: Because of the short week do you quicken the rotation of reps that guys get?

B: Yes, I think that is a good point, you definitely have to manage your reps during the week because you are right they are coming off a tough game and you try to practice them on Tuesday which normally is their day and their work day is Wednesday and that's really gameday. So I think you want to give your players as much rest as you can this week so they can be fresh on Thursday which is the important day of the week. More of the preparation is done mentally and some of the guys who will be playing will just not get as many reps as they normally do, just as you say, just to kind of save their legs and not slow down the healing process so that they are full speed on Thursday.

Q: Do you rotate during the game too because guys haven't had those six days to have their bodies recover?

B: I think there are a couple of individual cases where that could be true. I think for the most part my experience has been that you just have a few less days, but it is just like a Wednesday practice, you play Sunday, you come in Monday and do a little light running and lift, you take Tuesday off and most everybody is ready to practice on Wednesday and practice at a good tempo. So you have a few extra hours there for this game, but I think what you want is you want your team as fresh as you can have it on Thursday kind of like it would be on a normal Wednesday type of practice and I think most players will be able to play. There maybe one or two that you might have to manage them a little bit in the game because of a particular situation the condition that they have, but I think for the most part everybody should be okay.

Q: Not only do you have a quick game coming up but then you have ten or eleven days before the next game, do you have to monitor their focus getting to this game so that they are not looking past it to the time off or family things that they can do? Do you kind of keep next week's schedule under wraps until the day of game as a reward?

B: Well there is no question there are more rewards when you win, but I haven't really got that sophisticated on it right now because my focus is just on this week, not on what we are going to be doing next Friday or next Monday or whatever it is. We are just trying to go full speed ahead here for Detroit, make some corrections and adjustments from the Cincinnati game that I think are important to make, but at that same time we have got to move forward so quickly onto Detroit that that is where my focus has been. We will just be on as much of a normal schedule as we can be on from today until Friday and then we will back off a little bit on the weekend. But as far as the definite schedule on that, we will pick that up a little bit later in the week, but I think the point you were making about the players focus on the game and the different timeframes and all of that, there is no question that is an issue, but we just have to try to manage it the best we can and look in terms of immediate goals which is the next game. There is no sense in worrying about something in two or three weeks because right now all of that is out of our hands. It is just the present that we have any control over.

Q: I talked to a guy on one of your Giants teams back in the day and we talked about what happened this past week with the fight at practice, and he said that on that team that there were so many leaders that coaches wouldn't really have to do something like that, players would have taken it upon themselves to get ready. Is that something you have to struggle with, with this team?

B: I think each team has it's own chemistry and it's own personality and personalities within the team and they change each year even though maybe a lot of guys stay the same there are still new ones that somehow or other come and go in the chemistry and I think each team has to find it's own equilibrium. There is no question that on some of the teams that you mentioned that definitely is the case and I know in talking to other coaches in the league and other players around the league that there are certain teams that are just comprised that way that there are number of plays whether it is two, three, five, ten, whatever the number is that they really control the tempo of the way the practices go and when you have that kind of situation then that can be very positive and then if you don't and you need to create it for whatever reason then sometimes you need to change up the routine. There are some teams that don't even practice in pads during the year and plenty of those teams have won a lot of games. So I think there are a lot of different ways to do it. Right now, I was looking at our roster last week and including the practice squad and a couple of the injured reserve guys, about a third of our team are rookies. About twenty of the sixty players, we are a little over sixty now, but about a third of our players are first year players and that is a pretty large number on your team. Everybody has some but that's a pretty large number and I think when you have that many guys and there are a lot of other players that you can throw in there that are still relatively young, maybe they are third year or second year, but anyway the bottom line being that I think this is an important year from training camp and all the way through the season to establish the way that we feel that things need to be done and how preparations need to be gone about and what this football team needs to do to get ready for a game, not some other team and not some other situation. Again there are plenty of other ways to do and there are plenty of other people doing it different ways and I am not being positive or negative toward anybody else. I am just doing what I think we need to do and definitely given the youth and the inexperience of a lot of people on this team I think that we have had to structure things a certain way to do that. If that changes and once the level and maturity of our team changes a little bit then maybe that will be a good time to adjust it.

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