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

Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript

Belichick: Unfortunately, I think for us, Brenden Stai this morning came in and told me that he was going to be retiring from football.



            **BB:**  I apologize for being late this morning.  Sometimes things pop up and we had one of those this morning.  Unfortunately, I think for us, Brenden Stai this morning came in and told me that he was going to be retiring from football.  That one took me by surprise.  I definitely didn't see it coming.  In the end, it was obviously a personal decision and that's really all the light I can shed on it.  I know it's three years.  I know it's the same position.  I can't give you an explanation for it.  That is what it is.  

**Q: Did he just say he wasn't comfortable playing anymore?

BB:** It was a personal decision.

**Q: Did he say he didn't like playing here?

BB:** No. He had all positive things to say about being here and his experience here. It was just a personal decision that he's made toward him playing football.

**Q: When a guy comes in, is it a case-by-case basis where you try to talk him out of it?

BB:** I think it is. It just depends on the player and the situation. With a veteran player who has played for a number of years, who has trained and been through the process and all of that, it's not something that a guy like that would give five minutes thought to it. Especially somebody like Brenden or even in some of the other cases we've had. When a rookie comes in there and says, 'Well I am thinking about this,' or 'I'm homesick,' or whatever, that is a whole different situation. Depending on what the circumstances are, you might deal with it differently.

**Q: Did he think his play wasn't up to par?

BB:** No. I don't think that was it.

**Q: Do you just shake your head and wonder why this happens three years in-a-row?

BB:** I don't have an explanation for it. I can't give you a good one.

**Q: What was your assessment of his play in the game on Thursday?

BB:** I think he was coming along well. I thought he was coming along fine.

**Q: I don't know what is out there. There isn't much more is there?

BB:** Well, it's not something we are looking for. But we will move on. We will have to move on.

**Q: Is there any chance of him reconsidering and if so, would you be interested in him?

BB:** I think that's a little bit premature to get into that game. At this point, it's gone the other way, not coming back.

**Q: How close is Joe Andruzzi to coming back?

BB:** Joe practiced at the end of last week and yesterday, so he has practiced.

**Q: Will he play this weekend?

BB:** I hope so. We'll see how it goes. I don't want to make any promises. As Joe increases his participation this week, we'll see how things go. I think he has a chance to, let's put it that way. I think he has a chance to play this week.

**Q: Do you have Bill Conaty under lock and key right now? [laughter]

BB:** Yeah, right. [laughter] We've met our quota this year.

**Q: Can he also play the right side?

BB:** Bill has played both sides, guard and center. He has played all three spots for us.

**Q: Have you looked at Dan Koppen at all?

BB:** At guard? Dan has only gotten a few snaps out there at guard. Most of his time has come at center. That's probably the way it will stay for the time being, anyway.

**Q: How viable does Russ Hochstein seem at this point?

BB:** I thought Russ did a decent job the other night against the Giants. Russ has had a good camp. He was with us last year and didn't get any playing time but practiced with us and had a good offseason. I think he has had a good camp and it's been encouraging there. With Joe out, it has given some of the other guys an opportunity to get a few more snaps. I think Russ is making some progress.

**Q: You just don't have any luck on that right side.

BB:** Well, Andruzzi.

**Q: How do you feel in general the offensive line is developing because of all of the injuries and mixing and matching through training camp?

BB:** I think it's been okay with all things considered. We've had a lot more continuity on the left side of the line than we have on the right with Damien [Woody], Mike [Compton] and Matt [Knutson]. [Adrian] Klemm has gotten a lot of snaps over there at right tackle. [Tom] Ashworth has swung and Conaty and Hochstein, now Andruzzi back out there. We are starting to get the people that we had going into training camp, back out on the field other than Kenyatta [Jones]. We added Brenden and unfortunately that is now a subtraction. The other guys have been out there and they have been working hard. I think we are getting better. We are certainly not there yet. But I think that it's coming together as a group. We have three games left to help polish that up.

**Q: How close is Kenyatta to getting back?

BB:** Well he is getting closer. But he is definitely not there yet. I am not sure if that will be this week or not. We'll just have to take it as it comes. I wouldn't say that it is going to be tomorrow. I don't think it's that close.

**Q: Has Dedric Ward and David Givens' roles almost seal because of their ability to do multiple things?

BB:** Well, it definitely helps them that they do have multiple skills and can play a couple of different positions at the receiver spot including our multiple receiver groups and show up in the kicking game. So those things all work to their benefit. There is no question about it. I don't think everybody's roles are defined at this point. They have more than one thing going for them in their versatility and that always works in a player's favor.

**Q: Has Dedric been pretty much everything you expected? Has he been a best-case scenario so far?

BB:** Yes. He, of course, has some experience in the offense and can play multiple spots and has also shown up in the kicking game a little bit. He has been very competitive at the position and right in the middle of it.

**Q: What is the difference between David Patten and Dedric Ward? Is there a lot?

BB:** They probably have more similarities than differences put it that way. I think that they do have a lot of the same strengths in terms of speed and size and catching skills and quickness. Yes, there are some similarities there, experience. It's a good comparison.

**Q: On your running back situation, in the past you've said that you didn't envision Kevin Faulk as a full time back. Has that changed? Has he developed more?

BB:** Well, I think that Kevin played well with the opportunities he had last year. We are going to give him more opportunities and see how that works out. His role may or may not be the same as it was last year. It definitely could be more on early downs. Last year he was primarily a third down, fourth down kind of player. He could have more of a role on first and second down. Yes, we are giving him an opportunity to compete for that.

**Q: Is it him or is it Antowain Smith?

BB:** Well, Kevin had a lot of production last year with the opportunities that he had running, catching and returning. It's hard to deny what his production was. I mean, you can't deny it. If that production could be maintained or increased with more opportunities, then we are certainly willing to look at that. Whatever Kevin gets, he has earned and deserves it. That's the way we feel about it.

**Q: Has he looked pretty much the same during this camp to you as he did last year in terms of productivity?

BB:** I think Kevin has had a good camp. He has been healthy; he has been out there everyday. He has worked hard. We have given him more reps on first and second down. He is still getting some third and fourth down reps but we have given him more reps on early downs and I don't think there is anything negative about that. He has looked good at the things he has been asked to do on first and second down too. I think he is capable of handling those. Whether he will be the best guy doing it or not, that remains to be seen. He has shown that he can handle those responsibilities. How many plays and what the workload is, that could come into play too.

**Q: Has his game changed to make him more of a factor on first and second down? Has he gotten bigger?

BB:** No, but I think he has improved in some of the areas that we have asked him to improve in, yes. Absolutely. Ball security for one, blitz pick up for another, and he has worked hard to improve. Kevin is the type of player when you ask him to work on something and address it, he is diligent and he works hard on it and he has improved it. So, that is why I say he deserves whatever he gets. He has earned it.

**Q: Some of us thought that after the Green Bay game that it could be curtains for him. Did that surprise you that he was able to bounce back?

BB:** Kevin has always been a real competitive player. I think any good player is going to have bad plays somewhere along the line and they are doing to have to bounce back from them. Guys miss tackles or drop balls or throw an interception or get beat for touchdowns or whatever it is. Those guys are going to have to bounce back from those bad plays. Sometimes it's a combination of things on the play but sometimes a guy knows that he made a mistake on a particular play, he missed a blitz pick up, or whatever it is. That bouncing back is part of it. Nobody goes out there and plays a perfect game. Kevin is very competitive. He has been one that has worked hard on the areas that he can improve on and he has tried to improve them.

**Q: Would you maybe like to expand Kevin's role and maybe take away some of the predictability when he is in the game?

BB:** Well, I think a lot of the things that came up last year were situational. I mean it's third down and more than four; most teams in the league are going to throw a high percentage of plays there, so that is no secret. On early downs, right, you are going to have to have some kind of balance with whoever is in there. You want to try to be as balanced as you can. You can't always be perfectly balanced but you want to try to have as much balance as you can regardless of who the people are in there, whether it's the running back or a receiver, a tight end or whoever the skill players are.

**Q: Would you run the same plays with Kevin on the field that you would with Antowain?

BB:** Well, at this point, yes. Now, until we know exactly what everybody's role is going to be on the team and how that is going to work out, that may or may not change. At this point, yes, everybody is doing the same thing. The evaluation is pretty even there so we are not running this play with this guy and that play with that guy. It's the same thing with the receivers where you run and in-route with this receiver and a run a go-pattern with another guy or that type of thing. You try to run what you run and evaluate them doing everything knowing that some guys are better at some things than others.

**Q: Kevin and Antowain have different running styles. Are you at all concerned with how the offensive line will kind of accustom itself to blocking for one or the other?

BB:** Well, I think that is something that you have to take into consideration a little bit. The plus side of it is they are not the same. In a way, it's a negative and in a way it's a positive because it's a change of pace and it's also a change of pace for the defense. The same play may get run a little bit differently with two different guys doing it. That could work in both directions. It is definitely something that we will have to be aware of. Sometimes those change of pace runners though can come in and, whichever way it goes, for example against the Giants, the Tiki Barber/Ron Dayne combination is the same type of thing you are talking about. Two guys with different running styles. There are several teams that have situations like that and if you end up doing it that way, which I am not saying that we are or we aren't, then there is the change of pace factor and you try to use it to your advantage.

**Q: Is it more or less what Kevin is doing well and not so much what Antowain is doing?

BB:** No, they are both out there. Look, they both have good strengths. They both have been very productive players in the league. We'll just put them out there and let them play. It's not about negatives for either one of them. It's about what they can positively contribute when they get an opportunity to play.

**Q: How has Antowain contributed? As well as you expected? Does he need to improve his productivity?

BB:** Well, I think in the last two years… Are you talking about the last two years or right now?

**Q: Well I am talking about this year.

BB:** Just for a second, I would say in the last two years, his production was pretty consistent in terms of yards-per-carry and production and so forth. At this point in training camp, I think that he is doing things better than he has done in the other two years in terms of his conditioning, overall decision making in the running game. I think that he is at least ahead of where he has been. Now, that doesn't always carry on over to the field. Usually it does. He is working hard and he has been out there everyday. He hasn't missed much time. He is heading in the right direction and I think he has had a good start in camp.

**Q: Were you considering using a first round pick on a running back anywhere?

BB:** Well, we evaluate everybody and when it's our turn to pick, we look at the player that has the highest rating on the board and see how that stacks up with our pick. We evaluate every position and the way it turned out this year was Ty Warren was the choice.

**Q: Do you remember if there was a running back in that mix?

BB:** Well, I remember at that particular point, Warren was the highest player that we had so that is why we took him.

**Q: What about with the second round pick, when you traded it?

BB:** Well, there were players gone off the board at that point but our decision there was more in terms of value of the pick and what we thought we would be able to pick with Baltimore's second pick relative to that 19th pick and what we would be picking up at next year's draft. The overall value of that trade, we felt like was in our favor so that is why we made it.

**Q: Both backup quarterbacks played okay on Thursday. Does Rohan Davey pick up bonus points for getting the team in the end zone?

BB:** Well, that is the quarterback's job, is to score points. The passer-rating, completion percentage and all of that, I don't want to say it's meaningless, but the bottom line for the football team is getting the ball in the end zone or getting the ball down close enough to kick a field goal and scoring points. That's what the quarterback's job is and that is what the offense's job is. That really is a big part of the bottom line. On the other hand, sometimes in evaluating players there are certain things that are beyond that player's control. You have to try to take those into consideration as best you can. Overall, I thought that all four quarterbacks, when they had a chance, did a solid job. It wasn't perfect, but all four did a solid job.

**Q: Are you considering moving Damien Woody to the right guard and have somebody else at center?

BB:** It's a possibility. Woody has played there and has done that. He has worked some at guard in this camp. At this point, probably [we] wouldn't do it today, but could we do it down the line, it is a possibility. We haven't made that decision yet. Like I said, it really came down this morning.

**Q: On Brenden, was his mind made up when he came in?

BB:** Once we sat down and he started talking, he told me what he was thinking and what was going through his mind. That's pretty much the way it happened

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