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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 18 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 23 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf Transcript - 11/10

Belichick: It is all about Dallas and New England. That is all it is about.



            **BB:**  I will just catch you up on a couple of the roster moves, some have already been talked about.  David Patten is on injured reserve so he is obviously out for the season.  Shawn Mayer went from the roster to the practice squad and we waived Justin Kurpeikis off of the practice squad.  So that puts our roster at 51.  Gene Mruczkowski is going to begin practice this week on the PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] list.  Stephen Neal will not begin practice this week on the PUP list, which means he will be reverting to injured reserve and he will not play for us this season.  I think that cleans up a little bit of the bookkeeping there in terms of the PUP list and the roster and so forth. Overall for us, this has been a few days where we worked on our self-scouting.  We looked at all of the games that we played, all of the situations and tried to break it down into different categories and analyze the things that aren't going very well and look at some things that we are doing okay and try to see how we can incorporate more of that into our system and so forth.  At the same time, of course, looking at Dallas.  I saw most of that game yesterday.  It was a very impressive performance obviously against Buffalo.  They showed why they are leading the league in defense.  They are strong on the run.  They are strong on third down.  They don't make many mistakes.  I thought they played a real good football game and certainly deserve to be 7-2 and anybody who saw that game saw that they had pretty good control of it the whole way.  I could sit here and rattle off a lot of stats for you.  I am sure that you are aware of them all.  When a team runs the ball as much as they do and have the time of possession that they have, and play as well defensively on third down as the Cowboys are playing, that is hwy they are 7-2.  As I said before, Bill [Parcells] has obviously done a real good job with the team.  He has got them playing pretty much error-free football.  They are very good defensively.  They are fast and they make big plays on offense and in the kicking game.  That presents a lot of problems and a lot of challenges for us this week.  That is pretty much where we are.  

**Q: Do you think this is maybe the best defense you will be facing?

BB:** [It] very easily could be and we have faced some good ones. They are very fast. They blitz a lot. They are very good in the secondary. They have a couple of big hitting safeties. The corners cover well whether it is [Terence] Newman, they have [Derek] Ross coming in on third down, [Mario] Edwards there, the linebackers are fast. [Dexter] Coakley really was a defensive back in college. He played a lot of those types of responsibilities. So it is almost like they are in nickel on every down because they have what amounts to five defensive backs on the field. La'Roi Glover, they have a lot of guys that can really run, they are active and they are quick and they don't give up a lot of big plays. It looks like there is a hole there and then it all closes up in just a second.

**Q: Have you worked anybody out for the roster spots?

BB:** We have had a few guys come in over the bye week and try to get caught up on the people we might want to go to. I don't really see that one happening.

**Q: Why is their [Dallas] completion percentage against so low?

BB:** Well, yeah, it is a combination of nobody is open and their pass rush. The corners play a lot of press coverage. They play a lot of man-to-man, similar to what you see from a team like Miami. They are up there all of the time. Again, they do a good job and they put good pressure on the passer. They have got four or five guys that rush both inside and outside. They are getting a lot of production from their pass rushers and then they incorporate that with their blitzers. When they blitz, they get on you quick. They come fast. They have a lot of different combinations with their linebackers. Of course, their safeties, [Roy] Williams and [Darren] Woodson, they bring Ross off of the slot, they blitz all of those guys and they get there in a hurry. They are fast. If they are free, they are right on top of the quarterback.

**Q: So this would maybe be somewhat similar to [Sam] Madison and [Patrick] Surtain?

BB:** Well I think the scheme is a lot different than what Miami does, but I think in terms of corners playing a lot of press coverage like you would see from a team like Miami, you see a lot of that, yes. They are up there a lot. You rarely see them backed off of the receivers. They are usually within two to three yards on the line of scrimmage and they are making it difficult for the receivers to get off and release.

**Q: Parcells doesn't have a lot the types of defensive players that [inaudible]. Has that changed a lot, has that changed the way this defense is playing?

BB:** I think so. I think they play, really, that Dallas' defense is playing similar to the way they played last year but they are obviously improved. A lot of the same, when we looked at them in the offseason, a lot of the elements of that are the same, a lot of the personnel is the same and they have improved by adding guys like Newman and picking up some pass rush guys that have added speed to the defense. But yeah, it is a little bit different than some of the other ones that we have seen him coach, yes.

**Q: Have you been in that position yourself before?

BB:** Yes, sure. When I was in New York, we were virtually all 3-4 until some sub situations and then in Cleveland I don't think we ever played the 3-4. If it was, it was very, very minimal. We had Burnett and Pleasant as defensive ends and we played almost exclusively a 4-3 scheme after, whatever it was, 10 years in New York of playing basically a 3-4 scheme, so yes I can relate to that.

**Q: How hard is that for the coach?

BB:** I didn't think it was that bad. There are a lot of different ways to do it. You have to make a few adjustments but I never felt like our system was so rigid, that is didn't have a little room for variation and try to take advantage of your personnel.

**Q: Ted Washington and Ted Johnson, will they practice this week?

BB:** I think it is possible. We will see how they are doing. If they are ready to practice they will. I can't tell you exactly whether or not they will be ready but if they are we will practice them, yes. It is getting close. Whether we are there or not, I can't say for sure right now.

**Q: Will there be any hesitancy at all to put Ted Washington back in there?

BB:** Well I don't even know what our options are at this point with guys who haven't practiced. If they haven't practiced, I don't think they are really a part of the picture until they can get out on the field and start practicing and show that they are ready to play, then you look at your defensive system and see where they fit in. A player that is coming back after being out for a while, I think you have to be careful about putting too much into that one player or that one situation. When [Mike] Vrabel came back he was used situationally on a few plays. Whether that will or wouldn't be the case with the next player, I don't know. There is an example of somebody that we can see came back from a situation similar to what maybe some other guys are in. Whether it will work out exactly like that or not, I don't know. But I think that is a good example.

**Q: In practice today, do you spend time doing the stuff that the coaches have worked on this week in terms of working on problems that you have or is today really the start of the game planning against Dallas?

BB:** We will start on Dallas today, no doubt about it. There are a couple of things that we want to do that will have carry over into Dallas preparation so we will also work on those, some things that we just need to work on but it will also apply to how we think it will go against Dallas. A little bit of a combination of both there, yes.

**Q: Do you see a difference in Terry [Glenn's] play? How is Dallas using him to make him better?

BB:** Well, he primarily plays in the 'z' position and he plays in the slot, which he did some of that last year in Green Bay and has done it from time-to-time throughout his career. We all know what type of talent that Terry has. He has been productive for Dallas. He is their leading receiver. He has made some significant plays for them.

**Q: Last year in Green Bay he wasn't really that much of a factor. Has he taken his game up a level? Do you think it is just a better situation for him there?

BB:** He had a couple of big games last year and had a big game on Monday night last year in Green Bay. There were games where he had some solid production. Some games were better than others like it will be with every player. We have seen that through Terry's career. He had a productive year here and some of the years in the nineties under some different coaches. Even in the 2000 season he was productive. He had a Pro Bowl year in there. It hasn't been the same every year but I think that we have all been able to see what his talent is, what he is capable of doing. He certainly has a lot of skill. There has never been a question about that.

**Q: You talked about the defense earlier. What about the receivers? Those three receivers might be as good a group in the league.

BB:** The receivers are good. They are all at the top of the league in terms of yards per catch. They get the ball down the field and I think that is really the trademark this year. The Dallas offense is they run the ball a lot. They have a powerful running game with [Troy] Hambrick or even [Adrian] Murrell as a inside running game and then they use that to open up some deeper passes and they get the ball down the field. Of course, Carter has got an outstanding arm and can make all of the deep throws that he needs to make. Those guys are all up there in the teens to the high teens in average per catch. He can get it down there to him and a lot of that comes off of the play action and people coming up, and coming up and coming up to stop the running game and that creates more space down the field. But they can all run and they can get open and they can catch the ball, [Joey] Galloway, [Antonio] Bryant and Glenn. Those three guys are good. They are good receivers.

**Q: How is [Quincy] Carter doing?

BB:** Well I think he has cut down on his mistakes. I think that the system has helped him a little bit obviously they are running the ball. They are using the running game to set up the play action passes and he is making good decisions. He is obviously being well coached. He is taking advantage of the sit6uations that he has and is having very few mistakes. That is kind of the way that Dallas is playing. They don't have a lot of bad plays in there on offense, defense or on special teams. Their plays are either okay or good. But they are eliminating a lot of the bad plays, the turnovers, giving up long plays on defense and that kind of thing. They don't do a lot of that.

**Q: Is he a runner who throws or a thrower?

BB:** I think he can make all of the throws. I have seen him make the long throws, the intermediate throws have got some touch and he has certainly run with the ball. I think he has got plenty of skill.

**Q: Did you like him coming out of college?

BB:** Well, we did a little bit of work on him but where he went in the draft, it was higher than where we were going to take him.

**Q: Did you ever an instance where you coached against a head coach or a coaching staff that you knew well and you got into a situation where you were game planning and you started to anticipate what they may or may not try to do?

BB:** I think some of those situations would be a lot different from this one. For example when I was in Cleveland and we played the Giants in 1991, I think it was the fourth or the fifth game of the year, that was virtually the same team with the same plays, the same system, the same everything that they had the year before, the same players, there were very few new faces on that team. The system was identical to what was there just a few months earlier when I was there. The similarities between New England and the Jets when Al [Groh] was at the Jets where again, it was the same terminology and it was almost on the verge of an inter-squad scrimmage. This is a totally different situation. Bill and I haven't coached together in five years and a lot has changed in five years.

**Q: When you are watching tape of Dallas where do you see some of the hallmarks of Bill and his coaching style? Where do you see them arise?

BB:** Well I think that offensively there are some similarities to the system that we ran at the Jets. I can see some of that in the formationing and the plays and that kind of thing. I see some of that with Maurice Carthon. I think you can definitely see it there just in terms of the way they play. They like to run the ball. They play good defense. They are sound. They don't have a lot of bad plays, they are obviously well coached and they are playing good football. That is probably what you would expect from one of Bill's teams.

**Q: How is Larry Izzo doing in terms of everything that has been going on?

BB:** I think he is all right.

**Q: Do you know that your magic number is down to six?

BB:** Don't even talk about that. It is all about Dallas and New England. That is all it is about. We go out there and we can't score against Cleveland and score 30 points against Denver. We go out there and have three penalties against Cleveland and have however many it was against Denver—I lost track—18 or whatever it was.

**Q: It was 14.

BB:** Yeah, those were the ones that were accepted. How many of you picked the Jacksonville-Indianapolis winner? It is all about one-week match-ups. It is not about anything more than that, or anything less than that. It is how the Patriots match up against the Cowboys, how the Cowboys match up against the Patriots. No more, no less. I know you don't want to hear that, but that is what it is about.

**Q: How do the Cowboys match up against the Patriots?

BB:** The Cowboys are pretty good, pretty good on defense. If you can't score, it is hard to win. They are only giving up about six points in the first half of all of their games. They are playing from ahead a lot. They are playing well defensively early in the games, and then they are able to take that and continue to play the game the way they want it on their terms and win most of them. I think that is where it starts. I think anytime you don't give them any points on defense and you don't give up third down conversions and don't give up a lot of yards and all the things that they are doing, that puts you in pretty good shape every week.

**Q: That had a lot to do with Carter's development?

BB:** They have been in a lot of close games now too. I would say probably half of their games have come down to just a few points, or the last possession or that type of thing. I think you have to give everybody credit there. The offense is certainly pulling their weight. The defense is playing well. They are strong in the kicking game—the kicker has made a lot of big kicks, and he has made them under pressure. When you have their record, they have made enough plays in enough games consistently more than the other teams that they have played against have. I think you have to credit everybody on that—the players, the coaches—and just playing smart football.

**Q: What do you think about Roy Williams? Have you seen many guys come into the league and play as well as he has?

BB:** Well Roy is big and he is fast and he is tough. He is a big hitter. He is one of the biggest-hitting safeties in the league, but one of the biggest-hitting safeties that I have seen here in my time in the league, which has been considerable. He is big and he is fast and he is powerful. He hits like a linebacker. He is a strong player, very strong. Both of their safeties are good, Woodson is outstanding, has been since he came into the league, whenever that was, '91, '92. He has been around for a while. I remember when Jimmy [Johnson] drafted him in the second round. Those safeties are outstanding. Their corners are good. They are very good in the secondary, there is no doubt about that.

**Q: They had a bunch of games last year where they were tied or ahead in the fourth quarter and lost. Was that just the quarterback making mistakes last year that he is not this year?

BB:** Honestly, I did not go back and study all of their games last year. They obviously had a lot of turnover this year. When we looked at them in the off season we try to look at the personnel and try to get a little bit of a feel for what we thought would…preliminary work was all it was in the off season. They did not change defensive coordinators, so we thought they might have a little bit more continuity on defense than they had on offense last year. That is really about the extent of it. We didn't get into a big analysis of what happened last year in a totally different system.

**Q: If a rookie is going to hit the wall, is this about the time in the year when it happens, based on your experience?

BB:** No, I don't think there is any set formula for it. It is different with different players, and depending on what their situation is and what they have to go through, what they have been used to and what they were accustomed to in college and all that. I do not think there is any set formula. It is a lot longer season than a college season. It is a lot more competitive than it is in college. In some cases it is probably a lot more physical than it was in college. Again, by the time you get through training camp and preseason and get into the intensity level of the regular season in the NFL, it is just a different experience than it was in college. I do not think there is really any way you can prepare for it. It is not anybody's fault; it is just a different level of competition and at some point that can start to wear you down a little bit. I don't think there is any written rule that says everybody has to do this or do that. It can come in different degrees. I am just saying that, from experience, I have seen it more than once. So that is all. I think for everybody it is a little bit different depending on what position they play, what they go through and, again, what they were used to prior to coming into the NFL.

**Q: In baseball, there is always talk about a pitcher's second time through the line up and they get a look at him. Does that happen in football, where teams get tape on a young player and take advantage of his weaknesses maybe later on?

BB:** I think any time you play a team a second time around there is some knowledge to be gained there both ways. Any time you have a chance to evaluate teams and players through a significant number of regular season games, you have a much better read on those teams than you do at an earlier point in time. That is not to say the match-up necessarily is going to be more favorable because they are reading you too, but I think there is certainly a lot to be learned from the regular season games and from seeing guys perform under pressure in this league. If you can play them once, you get a much better feel for how you match up specifically against that player. Not that we have done that against Dallas, but as we get into some of our repeat opponents from our pre-season games like the Giants and Philadelphia and that kind of thing, or your division games

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