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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 11 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 16 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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



            **B:** There are no roster moves, no injury updates everything is the same there. We will be in the bubble today. I don't think the field is playable out there.  

Q: Do you hope in these last couple of games to be able to get a running game going?

B: It could be a little more balanced on offense, sure.

Q: Is this a big test for a guy like J.R. (Redmond) playing in cold weather?

B: Yes, J.R. has had one of those years where he has just really never been able to keep going. He's had some sparks, some flashes, but one way or another things have just happened where it just hasn't been able to flow all the way through.

Q: Is the weather an issue for him I mean he has always been in warm weather in southern California and Arizona State?

B: I am sure it is an adjustment I don't think there is any question about that. We have had some pretty cold days out here in practice and I think that a lot of the players that are from that area, Lonnie (Paxton) as a snapper that is a pretty big adjustment for him, Shockmain Davis and there are a bunch of guys like that that haven't played in a lot of weather like we get at this time of year. I think they have adjusted to it during the year. I have talked to them about it in practice about using the practice to acclimate themselves to the way it is going to be in the game.

Q: Has J.R. shown you enough so that you don't have to go after a running back in the draft or in free agency?

B: I can't say yes or no to that question the answer I would give you is that as a coach you always have to look at the overall performance of your team and if you can improve it and you feel like you can improve it then I think you have to consider it. At what expense that comes and what you have to do to make that transition every situation is different, every case is different so that pretty much includes all of the areas of your team.

Q: Do you think he got enough reps as rookie running back to get to that next level of conditioning? Is he in that category?

B: I think that this probably wasn't the optimum situation for him coming in, not being able to get the training camp reps until later in August, not really starting to play much until a third of the way through the season or whatever it was, yes I guess about a third of the way through the season. So you would always like to get an earlier start on that. Hopefully that will be the case in future years for J.R.

Q: You said yesterday that you simplified the defense because things weren't happening the way you wanted them earlier in the season? Is that accurate?

B: Yes.

Q: Why then would a guy like Shane Matthews against a simplified defense be as successful as he was? It seems like the last five or six weeks that has been when people have been most successful throwing the ball.

B: There are a lot of things that go into it. A question was asked about simplifying the defense and all I said was that we have cut back on some of the things that we were doing relative to earlier in the season in order to get better execution as a function of all of the people that are involved in the defense, all of the players, all of the coaches, all of the situations that comes up and we felt like as a coaching staff, but also in talking to some of the players, that at different points in the year we have tried to eliminate some adjustments that we were making earlier in the year in order to be more aggressive and we thought we would be able to function better during the game. I think to a certain degree it has helped, I think what we did has helped in terms of the overall communication and understanding and execution of the defense, did we play great against Chicago, no. So that really wasn't what it was about.

Q: Does that surprise because you have a number of guys that have been around you and have been around your system Ty Law and Lawyer (Milloy) and (Antonio) Langham?

B: Right, well it is not about that. It is about, as I said, it is about everybody that is involved. It is about all the players and all of the coaches and you can name guys that have been around for a long time and you can name guys that haven't, but it is the mix of everybody together. I think you have to be able to do what you can do and if you can't go out there and do it well on the field then no matter how good it sounds in the classroom or it looks on paper or whatever if it doesn't function that way on the football field then I don't know if it that's best to do that.

Q: But isn't the coordination basically between the linebackers and the secondary, one of the guys…

B: No everybody is involved. Good defense is team defense. It involves eleven people whichever eleven are on the field and it is not always the same eleven. Sometimes it is a first down group, sometimes it is a short yardage group, sometimes it is a long yardage two minute group, sometimes those people change from week to week depending on the circumstances within your team, injuries or gameplan or whatever it happens to be. So there are a number of moving parts in there it is not just about two guys or three guys it is about eleven guys and those eleven guys change.

Q: But usually the guys up front are going for the quarterback and for the most part the secondary guys are going to be going for the coverage the middle of the field and things like that aren't those guys that have been here awhile (Tedy) Bruschi, Ted Johnson and (Chris) Slade and the secondary there are not a lot of young guys that are playing shouldn't they have gotten this by now?

B: Well there are young guys that are playing especially on third down, there are young guys that have been playing there on third down and some of the people that you mentioned have been in and out of the lineup at different points during the season. You didn't mention (Andy) Katzenmoyer but he is another one that fits into that group too. So it is the number of moving parts. I think the intelligence level of the players is good I don't think it is any different from any other group I have coached before. There are some experienced players here, but the overall mix and fit of everything together it just felt like we were better by scaling it down so that is what we did.

Q: Do you feel that the second year in the program things will start to click?

B: Well like I said I think you do what you can do and some teams are offenses, defenses, some teams are more adjustable than others, other teams do the same things repetitively and they try to do them well. Looking at Joe Gibbs's offense for the Redskins they had three running plays and they led the league in rushing every year and they were hard to stop running the ball. Some of it was personnel, but a lot of it was just they did what they did and they did it well and it was well coordinated and they did a good job with it. They didn't need twenty running plays so I don't know if twenty running plays is the answer. There are other teams that have twenty running plays and they lead the league. The Denver Broncos, there is another team that probably doesn't have very many running plays and they lead the league in rushing pretty much every year so I don't think it is about how much you have and there are other teams that do more things and give you a lot of different looks and they create problems too. So you do what you can do. Sometimes less is better, sometimes it isn't, sometimes it is too predictable. You have to try to find a balance and you have to do what your team can do.



            **Q: Are you a believer in team chemistry?**  

B: Absolutely. Your team has to be able to function as a unit when it goes out on the field whatever unit is out there. If you don't have that then it is going to breakdown. I mean there are always going to be breakdowns, every team has breakdowns here and there, but you have to try to minimize those.

Q: Have you been on a team that has lost a lot and had good chemistry and I guess the question is what roles does team chemistry play?

B: It helps, no question it helps.

Q: How would you assess your team chemistry, excellent, good, fair, poor?

B: I think it would be better if we were winning more, but…

Q: Sometimes you get a real sense of how it is when you are not doing well?

B: I think that the team more is at a level of frustration, disappointing and frustrated more than adversarial if I could characterize it.

Q: Have you had a situation like this where you try to mix and match and it just never worked because it seems that has always been your strength coordinating a defenses particularly against that pass?

B: I would like for it to be more efficient then it has been there is no doubt about it, yes.

Q: Did you expect this to be one of your better groups because of the experience factor you had and the fact that you were here in 1996?

B: As I said in the beginning of the year every year is it's own year and particularly when you are coming in new like this. It is not like we have been doing the same thing for three or four years here that's not it. Every year is it's own year. Each team has to establish itself every year to its strengths and the way it plays. You can talk about them, you can practice them, but until they show up on Sunday I don't think they are bona fied. Every team has it's opportunities to do that and I don't think we have achieved obviously what we had hoped to achieve, but I think the expectations are the same every year and until you go out and do it and establish it, it is not really established.

Q: Has the lack of production from (Chris) Slade and (Willie) McGinest especially disappointed you?

B: I think it is a combination of things. I don't think you can identify any one area. I think it is a combination of things and we have tried through the course of the year to work things together so that they will fit better, they will fit cleaner and we can use the personnel and the scheme to it's maximum for our best efficiency and that is what we are trying to do and there is a number of moving parts going on in there that we are trying to manage.

Q: How much evaluating at this point are you doing and can you do over these last two games?

B: What I am trying to do now is prepare the team to beat Buffalo and next week it will be to beat Miami. At the end of the year we will evaluate, take some time probably let the air clear a little bit, take some time and evaluate a lot of different things, but you do that every year. I did it after we won a Super Bowl and we did it after we didn't. So that's the same thing you do every year. If you go back and look at the things that you did, how to improve them and then you look forward to see where you are headed in the future and what adjustments you want to anticipate making based on the road ahead. I am sure at the end of this year that is definitely what we will do. We will take a little time to let the air clear and the dust settle, but it is a little hard right now because you are so caught up in the gameplans and the preparations and the week to week games that a lot of things that you think about now in terms of evaluation are what is most recently in your mind, what happened last week, what happened the week before and you lose sight of maybe some of the things that happened in the first four, six, eight weeks of the season. Sometimes you can over evaluate something good or bad that happened recently because it is the freshest in your memory. So I think it is good to go back and take a good overview of everything whether it is the progress or the decline in a certain area of your team, improvement, stability or maybe there is some reasons that when you look at the whole picture you just see it a little bit differently. For example a certain part of your team may be performing poorly or better because of the level of competition that it is against. Something looks pretty bad at the end of the year it was because you were really facing tough challenges there, where it looked better earlier in the year because maybe the competition wasn't quite as good. So depending on which picture you want to look into there you can see it as really not being very good or being okay or maybe somewhere in the middle which is maybe where it really fell. I am just saying at the end of the year I think is a lot better time to go back and reevaluate all of those things personnel, scheme and how it all fits together. You are doing that along the way but a lot of it is week to week. The things we are doing this week are for Buffalo they are not for 2001 or 2002 it is how to fit the team better together for this week against Buffalo, next week it will be Miami.

Q: Are you happy with the no-huddle after two games is that still something you will be using?

B: I think that whatever we do offensively, the number one thing we have to do is not beat ourselves and I think that is basically what happened in Chicago. We committed penalties, we dropped some balls, we missed some plays that I don't think were as much a function of what our opponent was doing as what we were doing and we have to start there. You only get the ball twelve thirteen times a game and if you have five or six penalties on offense within those drives you are cutting sixteen scoring possessions down in half.

Q: Are there more penalties with the no-huddle?

B: Well I think whatever you need to do to eliminate the mistakes that's where you go with it. If that's what is causing the problem then maybe you need to cutback on it. If it is something else that is causing it then you need to address that. It didn't seem to be a big problem in the Kansas City game playing at home. It was a problem last week against Chicago. I don't know whether that was because we were on the road or because of a different set of circumstances or reasons we are searching for those answers too. I think the no-huddle has a place. I think we have shown we can use it during the year. To commit to it full-time is an option. If it is going well it is certainly something that we wouldn't hesitate to do like what happened against Kansas City, if it isn't I think we should probably have the flexibility to pull back out of it if we need to.

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