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Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 08/05/2002

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BB: This morning was our first big special teams practice of the year. We went through all of the phases of the kicking game with two groups. That's really a key area for us to sort out, particularly with the new players, and the guys we haven't seen before, and what kind of experience they have on special teams and where they can fit in there. Obviously that's very important in our makeup of the roster. How not only a player can contribute on offense and defense, but what his role can be on special teams. That was a good evaluation period. We're going to head over to the stadium tonight. The main thing we're going to try to do is get acclimated to the new stadium, the field, the 40 second clock, whatever the wind conditions are, the lights, get a feel for the footing, and all of those type of things. We're going to have a normal practice. We're not going to do anything that hasn't been done in the last week. Just that acclimation to the conditions, and check out the phones in the coaches booth, and the coach to quarterback system, and all of those little things that are apart of a game-day operation, so that if there are any bugs we can start to work them out, not that I expect any. That's pretty much the schedule today, then we will start on the Giants preparations tomorrow morning, and build on that on Wednesday and Thursday.

Q: The weather forecast for tonight is questionable, is there any chance of this practice being rescheduled?

BB: I'm not going to fool around with lightning. The rain doesn't bother me. I think it would take a lot of rain to move us out of there. Lightning that's a whole different story, you just have to rely on what the latest weather forecasts are, and then a little instinct. If it starts getting close then you run before it gets too close.

Q: The new stadium could have a new name, have you heard anything about that?

BB: We're just trying to make a first down, we're just trying to catch some punts and return them. I'm sure that whoever is working on that, is diligently working on that. I'm just trying to coach a football team. I know we have an announcement, I'm just trying to get the team ready for a game.

Q: Do you think it will have any effect on the players?

BB: I don't know, do you?

Q: How does Jarvis Green look?

BB: Jarvis is having a good camp, he's been out there everyday, hasn't missed any time. He's working pretty hard. There are a lot of kids, there are a lot of rookies that when they come into the league, veterans usually try to help them, and then there are some kids who take more to that type of coaching then others. I think, for example, [Tom] Brady was one that was really a sponge and absorbed a lot of information from the veteran players. Jarvis is kind of like that type of player on defense. He spends a lot of time with [Anthony] Pleasant and [Bobby] Hamilton and really tries to understand what he's doing, and maybe a better way of how to do it, and some of the finer points. He's had a real good week and a half so far. We're looking to forward to giving him some playing time this week, and see what he looks like in game conditions.

Q: It seems that he has potential to get to the quarterback. Is he more of an outside rusher or an inside rusher?

BB: No, I think he has more edge speed relative to a guy like [Richard] Seymour, who is more of a pocket pusher than an edge player. Not that Richard couldn't play out there, but I think he is more on an inside rusher. I think Jarvis is more of an outside rusher, but could rush inside and work well in both places. Jarvis has got some good quickness and runs well for a man his size.

Q: Is he similar to how Pleasant was early in his career?

BB: No. When I had Pleasant he was 248-250. Compared to linebackers we had at the Giants, we had [Harry] Carson, Pepper [Johnson], [Lawrence] Taylor, Carl Banks, Andy Headen those guys, he looked like a linebacker. He had that kind of build, kind of narrow at the hips. He not a Richard Seymour-sized guy. He kind of looked more like that. He ran well for his position. He probably ran about a 4.7, somewhere in there. So he was a totally different player. He was more of an edge player in the Cleveland system in '90, the year before I got there. Then in '91, we got him a little bit bigger, and changed his techniques a little bit and moved him in tighter in on the tackle instead of putting out there in space where he had played in Bud [Carson]'s system the previous year.

Q: Speaking of Seymour, do you fear a sophomore slump from him?

BB: I think that has to be determined every year. I don't think guys in their second year necessarily make progress, although they should. I think its up to them what they put into it, and how they respond to the situations in the second year. Some guys respond better to the first year than the second, some guys take a learning curve and improve more in the second than the first. Each guy could be different. I don't know if there is any set formula on how its going to go. We would all like to see that improvement, but we can all find plenty of players that did improve their second year. That will be up to him in what his approach is, and what his improvement is once we get started.

Q: He said that his shoulder prevented him from lifting. Do you want him to get stronger?

BB: We want everybody to try to be stronger. The goal of any training program is to lower the body fat, and improve the speed, strength, and explosiveness of the athlete. So in general that's what we try to do, we're not trying to pack on weight just to be fat, but we're not trying to cut weight to improve speed, strength, and explosiveness either. So there's a combination there of training and working to maximize your size and power, but at the same time football is a game of speed, you have to be able to run, change directions, and play with quickness. So all of those are sort of pushed into the same pot. That's why when you do testing on athletes, if one guy is spectacular in one area that's great, but its really how the whole mix is. A guy that has a lot of strength, but cant run really has a problem. Even though his strength is maybe superior, his foot speed could be too much of a liability and vice versa a guy that can run that doesn't have any strength at all that's playing in a line position, I'm talking about a receiver, could be too big of a liability. Could he get stronger? Sure, and most 21-22 year olds can. Most athletes I've been around don't physically peak until they're mature, until they're in that 24-25 year old age group. Each guy is different, but as a general rule, a guy comes in and you see his strength increase his first, second, and third year in the league, and then they kind of level off and increase gradually, but not at the same rate.

Q: What have the NFL rules officials told you?

BB: Not much. If the guy hits the pylon, he's not out of bounds. If a guy is running a route and he brushes the pylon, like the play that Detroit had in the Thanksgiving game. The sack rule, the clock is not going to stop under two minutes. A field goal can't take more than five seconds off the clock. Basically a lot of mechanical things like that.

Q: Nothing that deals with guys lining up in the neutral zone?

BB: There is nothing new on any of those rules. Each year the officials have a different point of emphasis, sometimes its offensive holding, sometimes its pass interference, sometimes it's the alignment in the neutral zone, sometimes its protecting the quarterback. Whatever it is, and they do talk about we're going to emphasize certain things more than we did the previous year. That's more of an interpretation and not a rule-change per se. It's maybe a stricter interpretation, or maybe a looser interpretation. That's really an annual thing, and in all honesty you can look back at the end of the year and really see a difference, and sometimes you can't. As a team, our job is to know the rules, and to play the game the way it is being officiated. If its being called tight then if its close we're going to be called for fouls, and if its not being called tight then you can play a bit further. You have a little bit more variation, and you can play there until you know when you have to tighten up. Sometimes that changes from game to game. That's the hard part, is getting the consistency throughout the league, but that's the way it is, and that's the way it is in every sport.

Q: How is Scott Dragos doing?

BB: Well, Scott has got some versatility, and that versatility is going to have to stack up against the other guys who either have similar versatility or they do one thing better than he does, but he's a more versatile player than they are. Scott has been involved in some tight end stuff for us, some fullback, also some special teams, which we started evaluating today. I think he's a guy that can be versatile, and have a role with your team. Its just a question of how much value that role will have versus other players like a guy who can play inside linebacker, and outside linebacker on defense, or that type of thing.

Q: Could you talk about Steve Martin?

BB: Well, Steve is a guy we noticed from the Jets last year, obviously, playing against him. He's a big man, he's very powerful. He is certainly one of the strongest players on the team, he has tremendous upper body strength. Going through the free agents there were a lot of things that we liked about his play. Also, after visiting him and getting to know him from a personality standpoint and an attitude standpoint we felt that he would fit in with our situation here. We're always looking for defensive lineman, that search never ends, and he's one with some experience and some power, and a guy that we played against and had some respect for the way he played.

Q: Did Troy [Brown] get banged up today?

BB: Yeah he kind of landed on his knee there, I don't think its anything serious.

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