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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Tue Nov 24 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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            **Q: How do you feel?**  

B: I'm all right.

Q: What about (Tony) Simmons?

B: Tony Simmons is a situation that is being handled internally between a player and a coach. It is a private matter and that is the way I am going to keep it.

Q: Is he still on the roster, is he not allowed to practice, what can you tell us or what will you tell us?

B: It is a private matter. It is being handled between the player and the coach. It is a player/coach relationship.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about how you feel and do you feel better today than you did yesterday?

B: Same.

Q: So you will be in practice and on the field Sunday?

B: Yes. I feel about the same as I have felt for the last two weeks.

Q: How important is it this week and next week to make sure that all of your players not only show up and play hard in games but also to show a professional attitude despite the situation and what as a coach can you do as a coach to ensure that happens? What kind of message can a coach send?

B: Well I told the team that, that was the main point I made to the team on Wednesday morning when I met with them. I talk to the team about something every week, pretty much everyday. Wednesday I talked to them about the way we need to approach this game, what we need to do to win on the road playing Buffalo, playing at this time of year and the effort we needed in terms of preparation both in the classroom and on the practice field and the fact that Buffalo has changed a little bit since the last time we played them. Even though they are a division opponent and we know them pretty well and they know us pretty well they have some different people playing then what we saw the last time we played them. So the preparation is going to change and we have changed a little bit ourselves, we have some different people in there. So I stressed the importance of those things. Look don't get me wrong our record is important to me, but those things are important every week regardless of what our record and whether you are 0-0, 1-1, 2-2 or anywhere else in the season. Every game is important there are sixteen of them and each week we emphasize to the players what the most important things are for that week and that's what our job is, there won't be any compromise on that.

Q: Hypothetically, if a player didn't get the message would you do something now or would you wait until the season is over?

B: It is hard to deal in hypothetical situations all I can do is deal with what the evidence is, what the facts are.

Q: Why not just release a player like that in that kind of circumstance?

B: When we make decisions you take a look at what your options are, make whatever decision you think is the best decision for whatever all the reasons are you are making them. You do what you think is best.

Q: Just the headline to see that you needed an IV creates a stir, did it open your eyes at all in terms of just being tired at this point in the season or was there any consideration about slowing down your schedule over the next few weeks?

B: Dr. Dineen told me a story last night about how, now I forget the specifics of it, but how this doctor who I guess played football at Harvard was in the war, World War II, and a bunch of guys were sick with the flu. He broke them up into two categories, I guess this is a pretty famous study I am no doctor I am just relaying the story, he broke these guys up and put them in two different groups. One group he babied, kept them in the tent to keep them warm, gave them water, keep them hydrated, nurse them, pamper them, baby them, do all of that. The other guys he made them go through all of the regular stuff that everybody else did just like they were anybody else even though they had the same symptoms as the other group. He charted the recovery times and they were basically the same and I guess this is a pretty famous study. So I told Dineen I said, 'I thought those guys that he made go through all of the normal toils of the day must have really appreciated being part of that.' That wasn't really the solution to the type of symptoms that a lot of people have at this time of year. I don't think that being babied is really going to be the solution to this problem either for me.

Q: In terms of what Tony Simmons play has been this year, are you disappointed in his performance, do you feel like you should have gotten more out of a player like this during the year in games that he has played in?

B: I am not going to get into all of that.

Q: Will he be allowed to practice today?

B: Tony is not going to practice today, no.

Q: I saw that a bunch of players were fined, a couple of guys $20,000 for dancing, for doing what I guess they call the bob and weave how do you feel about that? Do you think the league is right to clamp down on that stuff, how do you feel about dancing in general?

B: I am not very good at it so…I didn't see the play, I didn't see the incident so I really can't comment on whatever this particular…

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            **Q: Okay but in general the league cracking down on celebration? You have some defensive backs, Ty (Law) and Lawyer (Milloy) for example that tend to get a little celebratory does that bother you at all?**  

B: What I encourage our team to do is to show enthusiasm for each other and I encourage spontaneous enthusiasm. If a guy makes a play for teammates to support it and encourage it and compliment the guy for it, I think that is the way it should be. I think if you want to support your teammates that that is the best way to do it. I think that events that are orchestrated like that maybe such as the one your describing, I don't know again I am not really familiar with it, but I think those kind of events take away from the players focus on the game. I think that if a player is really concentrating on what he is doing and concentrating on his performance that he is not really thinking about what he is going to do after something happens or doesn't happen or after he makes a play or somebody else makes a play. When it is not spontaneous I think it takes away from their focus on the game. Jim Brown taught me that. I mean I have kind of always believed it anyway, but after talking to Jim Brown and the way he approached the game, he was one of those guys that every time he carried the ball after he got tackled he got up and looked like that was going to be his last play. He walked back to the huddle and looked like he might be limping or might have got really hit hard or bruised or hurt on the play and maybe wasn't going to be able to go as hard the next play. Then when the ball is snapped the next play then he would go just as hard if not harder the following play. His philosophy was that when the play was over that is time to start, immediately start focusing on the upcoming play. What is the situation, what can I anticipate the defense doing, what do I need to do. He didn't even know the play yet, but as he is going back to the huddle mentally he was going through the process of what's this next play call for, what is the situation, what do I have to do now? Then as he would get the call in the huddle and come to the line of scrimmage then he would continue to think about his assignment, play, situation and so forth. There has been no greater player in the game then Jim Brown and I think that mental approach, as great of physical player as he was, I think his mental approach to the game is as good if not better than any other player who has ever played. So I think that is really the way it should be and if you watch all of the highlights on Jim Brown and his touchdowns and all of that you are not going to see the handsprings and the cartwheels and all of that because as he put it he was so focused on what he was doing on that play and scoring that he wasn't thinking about what kind of dance he was going to do after he got in the end zone. I think that is a pretty good approach to the game it is really the best one I have heard and it comes from a player that I respect probably more than any other player or certainly as much as any other player in the game current or past. I will go with Jim Brown on that one.

Q: Back when the season started I am sure you didn't envision the team being 4-10 at this point, did you have a vision of where you would be?

B: No I didn't make any predictions at the beginning and I usually don't. At the beginning of the season I was focused on Tampa, and then the Jets, and then Minnesota. To a certain degree you prepare your team to face the early part of your schedule and there are certain things that you know you might get out of your first four, six, eight opponents whatever it is. There maybe certain things that strategically you kind of want to have in place for that type of a team that you are playing against at that point in the year, but more focus at the beginning of the year was on the teams we were playing not what our record was going to be in October, or November, or December or anything else. I think that's one of the lessons I have learned. All of the best teams that I have been on that's the way it was too. All of the Super Bowl teams, the division championship teams, that was the attitude of those teams. It was never about what our record was going to be three months from now, it was how are we going to have a good practice today, how are we going to get ready to play the team we are playing. We didn't worry about the record there is nothing you can do about it. There is nothing you can do about what your record is going to be two months from now. You focus on today, you focus on today's practice, your preparation for the game, you focus on this week's game and when that game is over you focus on the next one. Those teams that did well that was the approach on those teams. That's the way the players thought, that was the way the coaches thought and I think that is the way to be.

Q: Looking back strategically would you do anything differently?

B: Sure after every game, as I have said before after every game the first thing we do as a staff is analyze the game. We break the comments on the game into six or seven categories of things we did well, things we didn't do well, things that were preparation errors, things that were personnel errors, comments on the game, critical situations in the game how we would handle them, what we might do a little bit differently or strategically all of those things. We do that every week win lose or draw, that is always part of the evaluation. You always look back and on every one of those we do it on offense, defense and special teams. On every one of those there are always things that you say, 'Well we could have done this a little better, this match-up was maybe a tougher one than we thought it would be, or we really handled this situation pretty good we maybe were a little afraid of it going into the game but the next time we are okay there we don't need to give a lot of help in this area we can hold up over there let's try to attack somewhere else and that type of thing.' So sure and at the end of the season you do the same thing.

Q: Going forward where do you see most of the changes taking place?

B: Going forward I think the first things I would say that in order not to make a critical mistake is to be thorough in our evaluation of this football team and I don't think that the day after the season is the time to do it. As a staff you need to take some time to get all of your information in place. You need to clear the air a little bit about the season so that you are not focused on the most recent games that you can take an overview of the whole season even though there may be certain trends that happen during the year that are significant, but a lot of times and I have seen this mistake made before where you look back at the season and look at the last two or three games something critical that has happened in those games say, 'Okay this is the issue with the team, this is what we have got to do.' Then when you take a longer look at it you look back and say, 'Yes sure that was an issue, but that got magnified into a lot bigger thing than a lot of other things because it was the last game or one of the last games and it was recent. That is what is in everybody's mind but it is a sixteen game season and there are a lot of critical things that happen in the season. Again I think the best thing to do is to do a good, thorough evaluation at the end taking everything into consideration and not try to knee jerk it. Which usually would be effected most by what happens the last couple of weeks and they are important too, not that the last couple of weeks aren't. I am not saying that.

Q: A lot of writers do report cards, how would you grade yourself, the whole package?

B: I am not satisfied with our record so whatever our record is that is what the grade is.

Q: With the season almost over, what do you see or don't you see as a developing trend in football, a couple of years ago it was the zone blitz, do you see anything like that either offensively or defensively?

B: Let me think about that one do you need that for tomorrow?

Q: You can get back to me.

B: Yes let me think about it. It is a good question and we do talk about trends a lot, but you are talking about from a league-wide basis. Let me think about that I will get back to you on that. That's a good question.

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