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Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 09/30/2002

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BB: We got in late last night so I really don't have much of an update for you on the injury situation. We've got a couple of guys with sore shoulders. We'll just have to wait and see how that goes. Really just pretty much a recap of the game from yesterday it's not much different from what we saw yesterday afternoon. Defensively, we've got a lot of work to do in the running game. It's two weeks in a row that's not characteristic of the way we play run defense around here, it's certainly not what we're looking for. Offensively, we basically had five opportunities down there either in the red area or down in the scoring zone across the 50 and came out with nothing on five shots. We moved the ball but, for all the yardage we had, we didn't have enough points to show for it. I thought it was disappointing. I thought we were better on special teams, our coverage was better, we blocked a kick but didn't kick the ball real well and didn't make enough plays in the kicking game either. That's really the story. I give the Chargers credit. They played well. They didn't make very many mistakes, didn't have any penalties, didn't give us any extra opportunities. We had to earn them and in the end we weren't able to put up more points than they were. Big plays on defense, lack of scoring on offense.

Q: Have you already watched the game film from yesterday?

BB: Yeah. I've kind of run through them.

Q: Is it a matter of guys being pulled out of the gaps, out of their positions?

BB: Are you talking about defensively in the running game?

Q: Defensively in the running game.

BB: There were several problems, it wasn't all one play, and it wasn't all one gap. There was a combination of things. There were times we got blocked. There were times we missed tackles, times that run fits could have been better. Anytime you give up long runs in the running game, a significant part of that problem goes to the secondary because it doesn't matter really if they run in there and they block everybody flat on their back, you still have a second line of defense and those plays shouldn't go for more than seven, eight, ten yards maybe if they come through there clean. We had several of those on offense where we broke the line of scrimmage clean and ended up with a 10-yard or whatever 12-yards, 11, nine, whatever it is. Anytime that you have long runs, that's a secondary problem. But certainly there are problems up front with the defensive line. The linebackers that allowed some of those runs to get to the point that they did, it's team defense. When you play good against the running game, that's team defense. When you don't play good against the running game, that's team defense too. There were plenty of things that we need to address. But playing, coaching, technique all the way around we have to do better job.

Q: Were the problems similar to two weeks ago with the run defense?

BB: Well the results were similar. I don't know. I wouldn't say it was the exact same problems. No.

Q: How would they be different from yesterday?

BB: They've got seven, eight, nine gaps depending on the formation. Somehow you've got to account for all those gaps. So where there's a breakdown, there's a breakdown. It wasn't all in the same gap. It wasn't all the same play but those are the ones you have to support. When you've got a good runner who gets through the line of scrimmage and makes big plays if you don't have them. If he gets through the line of scrimmage then it's the secondary's job to keep it to a reasonable gain, six, eight, ten yards.

Q: Can you just give an injury update on Troy Brown?

BB: Well Troy came real close. We took him out there. He got treatment on the plane, he got treatment at San Diego. It was a game time decision and in the end he just wasn't quite ready to go. It was close but we just didn't feel like he could do it. So we had him inactive. And we'll start the process again this week.

Q: Was Cam Cleeland an injury situation or was that just a tough roster decision?

BB: No. We had to inactivate somebody.

Q: LaDainian Tomlinson said last week that after looking at the Kansas City game, he would have a lot of opportunities to cut back. Is that a part of the scheme? Is that accurate with your defense?

BB: I don't know. I guess you would have to ask him the details of that since he's got all the answers there. I thought most of the yardage actually came when he bounced them out. The short-yardage run, I mean he cut it back inside the tackle, it wasn't like he broke all the way back across the center or anything. I don't know exactly what he is referring to. I didn't really see a lot of plays that start on one side of the ball and cut all the way back to the other side of the ball out there yesterday. Anytime you start to play out wide, they don't all get to the corner. Some of them stretch and cut back. In any case, there were some seams inside and he bounced a couple out. In fact he bounced several out. So I don't know. You'd have to ask him exactly what it was that he saw. I don't know.

Q: How much of a direct correlation is not being able to not get into the red zone have to do with Troy Brown?

BB: I don't know. Look, Troy is a really good player we'd love to have him out there but he wasn't there yesterday. I don't think he had anything to do with false starts, the holding penalties. We turned the ball over a couple of times. We get down there and can't pick up the fourth-and-one. So I don't think he had a thing to do with those plays. Those weren't all red area plays. I'm not saying all those were in the red area, they weren't all in field goal range. But they were plus 40 or close around. We weren't able to get any points out of it. So that's the kind of field position that you are looking for whether it came on the defensive turnover, whether it came off of us moving the ball down there or however we got it down there. The opportunity is to get a few yards closer and kick a field goal or get the ball into the end zone. We were there. We had five shots on it and we didn't capitalize on them. Troy could help us anytime, but he wasn't there. It didn't keep up from moving the ball, it didn't keep us from getting it in twice in the first half, but that was the end of our scoring.

Q: Are you surprised that there are technique problems with this group you have?

BB: Oh sure there are always technique problems. You're not going to play a perfect game. There are always going to be technique problems. You try to minimize them. We've had them in every game. We had them in the games that we won by a lot. There's always technique problems. It's just doing it perfectly and getting everybody to do it perfectly. But defensively it goes to using your hands, it goes to playing with pad level and playing low. It goes to wrapping up on tackles. So I think that anytime you see a missed tackle out there in any game, you are going to find some bad technique on the tackling end of it and that's going to be in the first game, it's going to be in the 16th game. You want to try to do as good a job fundamentally as possible on that but there's still going to be some breakdowns.

Q: Are those the easiest things to correct?

BB: No. I don't think anything is easy to correct. I would think its going to be corrected through hard work and repetition and execution. That's the only way it's going to get done. We're not going to get it done by just dreaming about it or hoping something is going to happen. We're going to get it done by taking care of it and addressing it and that's what we're going to have to do. Nobody has to solve our problems but us. There's nobody else out there who can help us . Either we find a way to get it done or we don't. That's what it's going to come down do. I don't think anything is easy in this league.

Q: Admittedly this may be a stretch, a couple of times San Diego put Dwight Thomas in motion. Did that help their running game?

BB: Well that happened last week in Kansas City in fact (Priest) Holmes got two good runs off of that. That's what we call copy cat plays; plays that one team runs that you think maybe the team the next week will run the same thing or the same idea. So that's not uncommon. Anytime we have successful plays against us. We generally repeat those plays in practice just in case the following team happens to copycat. The Chargers I think are a little bit of a copy cat team. They have a tendency to see what another team is doing well and then if it's working against you, repeat it. A lot of teams are like that. There were times where I think that caused us… for as time as we spent out there in a week, I think we should have played it better, but we didn't so that's the bottom line. I'm sure until we defend that correctly where it looks like there aren't any seams in there then we'll probably see it next week from Miami and right on down the line. So that's the way it is. You give up something one week and then if you get hit on again the second week then you'd pretty sure you'd be seeing it for the next three, four, five weeks. The same with our punt protection. Last week we came close to getting a couple of punts blocked and where those problems were, we saw again yesterday and I'm sure we'll see them again the next couple of weeks until we prove to the teams that are playing us that doesn't look like it's going to be a problem.

Q: Are you going to make those adjustments for Ricky Williams?

BB: Well, we're going to set up a game plan and try to defend Miami's offense just like we would normally try to defend it. We're going to do what we think it's best for Miami. I'm not really sure … is that what you are looking for?

Q: With the last two weeks and having trouble with the running game.

BB: I look at the same things I just said. Every week you look at the game that you've just played. There's going to be a list of corrections and mistakes that you are going to need to make from that game. Whether they hit the player or not, I mean if it's open, the other team is going to see it on film and your going to have to tighten up your defense on it. So that's part of every game plan. That was part of the Jets game plan looking at Pittsburgh. It was part of the Kansas City game plan looking at the Jets. It was part of the San Diego looking at Kansas City and it's part of the Miami looking at San Diego. So that's all part of it. On the other hand, Miami is not going to come in here and run the Jets offense. They're not going to come in here and run Kansas City's offense, they're not going to come in here and run San Diego's offense. They are going to come in here and run their offense and part of it will be adapted to what the previous weeks have been. You have to defend what Miami is doing. I think you also have to be aware of what you've been hurt with and try to plan accordingly. That's the way it is every week.

Q: It's been so long since this team has lost a game. Are you concerned with this team's ability to bounce back after getting knocked down?

BB: I'm a little more concerned about how we're going to play against Miami. I mean that's the concern every week is the next opponent. Right now the next opponent is Miami. They're a good team. They played well. We're playing them down there. It's a division game it's on the road, it's a big challenge for us. That's really what concerns me the most. I don't think that last week's game … I'm not saying it doesn't have any relevance ok? I think it has some. But the most important thing is how our preparation and execution is against Miami. Just like I don't think that the Jet game had a lot of relevance on Kansas City or the Kansas City game had a lot of relevance on San Diego. It comes down to what we get done from Monday to Sunday and they're starting the process all over again today. I think we've got a good football team. I think we need to play better than we did yesterday and it's my job to get them to do that.

Q: Does last year's games down there in Miami have any relevance at all?

BB: Sure. I think all four games against Miami had relevance. It's basically the same coaching staff's, personnel's changed but they have a new offensive coordinator so it's not quite the same. Last year's special teams coach is the same, head coach is the same, defensive coaches are the same. I think it's certain elements I think will carry over from one game to the next knowing that there are going to be adjustments and adaptations made for whether it's them looking at Ricky Williams, whether it's us looking at Ricky Williams or it's them looking at one of our players. That's just part of the adjustment process. Each time you play a team it always deviates a little bit in your strategy just because there are new factors that work. Yeah, those games are definitely relevant, absolutely. They've played us twice. They've got a strategy on how they want to play us. We've got a strategy on how we want to play them. So there's no question there will be relevance in those games. We try to take them and factor them into what we're doing and what they're doing, what happened last year and put it all together and that's where your game plan and your strategy comes from. There's a lot of things to worry about. They can't do all of them, we can't do all of them, we'll have to pick out the one's that we think are the most important. I'm sure they will do the same thing and that's what we get on Sunday

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