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Bill Belichick Press Conf.Transcript 6/10/04

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BB: It is good to be back. It is good to see the players out on the field working together today and through the weekend. Just a couple of things on the camp, what we are really trying to do here is install our system and give everybody a chance to run the plays, to hear the calls, to execute it, and roll a lot of people through. We are not really trying to have a big evaluation here. We are just making sure that everybody learns everything and knows what to do. It is not really an evaluation camp it is much more of a teaching camp. A big part of the evaluation will naturally take place in training camp when we get the pads on and go out there and start banging away. As you can see, there are a number of players that are in various phases of participation. Some guys are doing a little more or less than others. That is all normal for this time of year. As they are ready for a different phase of their work then they will be placed in it, whether that is this week or next week or in July or whenever it is. That is the situation. There are a whole bunch of guys to talk about there but they're all really in one degree or another in that category. That is basically about where we are at. We are going to practice a couple of times today and a couple of times tomorrow. Like I said, we are trying to give the players as much of our installation as we can in all the different phases, our regular stuff, our multiple-receiver type packages, red area, all of those things, so that when we get to training camp they will have been through it once before and will have a little bit of practical experience. It won't just be playbook stuff or film stuff. They would have actually been out there running it and can see how it is supposed to look or sort of how it is supposed to look on the field. That is where we are.

Q: Ty [Law] says he met with you about everything that was said over the winter. Can you share your thoughts on that with us please?

BB: Well, I will just say where we are now is, it is my job to coach the team and get the team ready for the opener and the regular season. It is his job to prepare to play. I expect both of us will do that.

Q: Can you explain your thought process?

BB: I have a player/coach relationship with everybody on the team. That is what it is. It is a relationship between a player and a coach. No, I don't think I can share everything, every conversation that I have had with every player or every thought on every player. I am the coach and I try to coach them. Players are players and they play. That is what we are going to do in this situation. That is what I am going to do with everybody else.

Q: Was there any tension in the beginning, if there was, is the slate clean now?

BB: I don't really think I can add too much more to what I just said. I'm a coach, he is a player, we have a team, the team is going to go out there and win. All the other players are going to try to play well. All of the other coaches are going to try to coach well. I don't know what else to say. It is what it is.

Q: You don't want to say much more than that?

BB: Well, I don't think I have much more to say.

Q: He wants to say, 'Are you still ticked off at Ty?' [Laughter]

BB: [Laughter] I really don't have anything more to say.

Q: How did [Rosevelt] Colvin look out there today?

BB: I think that Rosie is in that category of he isn't doing everything but is doing some things. He is coming along. We still have a ways to go before training camp. But he has worked hard. He has been very diligent in his rehabilitation and his attendance and his offseason work ethic as he was last year. I don't think he could really have done much more than he has done and he is coming along.

Q: How did you feel the tempo of the practice and the drills was today? It seemed pretty crisp.

BB: I thought it was okay. Again, I think that anytime you are putting in new information and there is some new learning going on, that slows the process down a little bit. It is not the same as when you have done something and everybody has done it repetitively and you go out there and can do it with a very confident and aggressive type of style. We are not quite there yet. I think that the concentration and the attention was good, not great. We had plenty of mistakes out there and things that we will correct. When you are teaching it and you are putting it in and in some cases rep-ing it for the first time or with a group of people who are out there doing it, it is something that maybe they have done that they haven't done within that group. There is some communication that goes on. We will try to build on it for tomorrow. I thought it was okay.

Q: Does it ever get easier every year for this program's expectations to be carried out without much reminding?

BB: There are a lot of people out there on the field that weren't out there last year. I think you go through the process every year. There is really no shortcut to it. You have to build a foundation and just lay it brick-by-brick, put in the plays, practice them on the field, and correct them. We have a lot of new people, we have some young people, we have a number of people that haven't done this thing or our thing before, maybe they have played but it has been somewhere else or in a different system and it is never quite the same. I think you just have to go through the whole process and rebuild it. Regardless if that is five new guys, 10 new guys, 25 new guys, it still has to be re-done.

Q: When you put in changes from last year, is it more driven by personnel changes or it is driven by staying ahead of the other competition or is it both?

BB: I would say it was a combination of both. Certainly a lot of it has to do with what we have and what we do. Some of it is what we face and some of it is a reaction to problems that we have had in the past that maybe we don't feel like we have a good enough schematic answer to and we need to give ourselves another option or maybe reconfigure things a little bit and try to put ourselves in a little bit position. I think it is a combination of all of those. You certainly have to be aware of the teams that you are facing and our schedule is different from what it was last year and just be aware of some of the problems that different teams present scheme-wise. They are just different and you may need to handle them differently.

Q: How does Corey Dillon make this team that much better?

BB: Corey has had a lot of production running the ball in the past. We are going to put him into our system and see how that goes. I think that he has a lot of qualities to look for in a running back. He is big, he is strong, he is fast, he has pretty good run vision, he can catch the ball out of the backfield, and he can pick up a blitz. He has done those things at a high level and produced on a consistent basis. We hope that we can improve our production at that position here.

Q: How does Tom Brady look so far?

BB: He has been all right. Again, anytime you talk about the passing game at this point, you are not talking about premiere execution. You have different guys throwing, different guys running, guys running new routes or new players running routes they haven't run before and that type of thing. You are not going to get the same timing that you are going to get with a quarterback and two or three receivers that run the same plays for 10 or 15 weeks consecutively in the regular season. But, overall, everybody is working on their game. They are working on their fundamentals. They are working on their scheme and trying to get it down. That is just part of the process.

Q: Are you still looking to sign a veteran quarterback or is what Rohan [Davey] is doing over in Europe changed your mind about that?

BB: I would say quarterback is the same as every other position on the team, if we have a chance to improve the team and we thought it was something that would make us better within the framework of what we could do, then we would consider it at any position. We signed players after June. We have signed players in July. We have signed players in August. When the opportunities come up, how it will fit with the team, what the circumstances will be, I don't know. I am not saying we would. I am certainly not saying we wouldn't.

Q: How much of Rohan have you seen and what do you think of his job so far over there?

BB: I have seen quite a few of Rohan's games on tape. I think he is getting the experience that we basically wanted him to get over there. He has been playing quarterback, getting game experience, and that is something that he hasn't had a lot of up here in the last two years. I think that he needed that. He needed it at that position. I think that has been good for him. How that will manifest itself this year in training camp and in the preseason games and so forth, we will see. I think that he needed that more than he needed to do sit-ups and do leg presses and all of that. Not that it isn't important but for his position I think that he needed to play and needed the two-minute drills and needed to see the blitzes and needed to scramble in the pocket and all of the things that he has had to do. That has been good for him. Again, it was just something that we couldn't provide at this time of year.

Q: Where was Matt Light today?

BB: Matt is going to have his appendix removed. So he won't participate in this camp.

Q: So he will be okay for later on in training camp? I have never had that done before.

BB: Yeah, I haven't had it either. He hasn't even had the procedure yet so I think it would a little bit too early to predict the outcome of it.

Q: A lot of guys on this team in particular Tom Brady seemed to keep a lower profile in the offseason, is that something that some of the guys learned after winning a Super Bowl championship three years ago?

BB: I think you would probably have to talk to those players individually. A lot of them, their situations are maybe a little bit different than they were a year or two ago for one reason or another. The offseason is the offseason. People have things going on in the offseason and we understand that. When football season starts, we have a pretty strong schedule of commitments that we expect everybody to make and I assume they will make them.

Q: Along those lines, you are always one for detail. Could you look back as you enter this season now starting from way back when and think about what mistakes you might have made as a staff after the first Super Bowl win and do things maybe differently this time around?

BB: I don't think there is going to be a big fundamental change now. I think it goes back to what I said earlier, it is still a process of laying them brick-by-brick on the foundation and make sure you have a solid foundation going into the season and then being able to play well and execute in competitive situations during the year. We executed to a 9-7 level in 2002. What our level will be this year, I don't think anybody knows and it would be hard to predict. You have to go through the same process to get to that point and then you have to play well when you have your opportunity in the regular season. I don't see the process changing too much.

Q: How important was your meeting with Corey Dillon that he had with you and Scott [Pioli] in terms of signing him? Is that something that you did with Antowain Smith?

BB: We usually try to talk to all of the players before we bring them in. With Antowain it was a totally different situation. He was released by Buffalo. We were in a camp and he came and that took place here. Corey's situation was totally different. He was under contract with Cincinnati. We had to work out permission with the club to go through a lot of the other things that we went through in that transaction and meeting with him was one of them. It was a whole different set of circumstances around that whole acquisition.

Q: Was there anything in that meeting that changed your mind about him or cemented an opinion that you had of him that he would be a guy that you would want here?

BB: Well, we had enough interest in him for it to even get to that point. It was a good meeting. I don't think there was anything negative in it.

Q: The way he ended things in Cincinnati, did you want to clear up what happened there in your mind?

BB: I don't think that was a big overriding factor. No. The player has been in the league for a number of years. We tried to find out what we could about the situation, about the player and a part of that was talking with him and him talking with us and trying to have an exchange of ideas and new expectations.

Q: What have your impression been of him?

BB: Corey has come in, he has worked hard, he has learned a system that was different than the one that he was in, although there are certainly some carryover. He has worked hard to pick things up, to train here with us in the month of May and so far here in June. I think he has had a positive interaction with the team and the organization.

Q: Cedric Cobbs was a little bit late coming out to practice. Was that excused, expected?

BB: Again, everybody is here. Everybody is doing different things.

Q: Just trying to keep up.

BB: Yeah, thanks for keeping me up on that.

Q: [Laughter]

BB: Let me know if you see him talking on the phone in the parking lot. [Laughter] No, I think everybody is pretty much doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Q: Has there been any of the second year guys who really have made that big jump this offseason like Tom Brady did in 2001?

BB: I don't think we are going to know that until we get to training camp. This is more of an information exchange, teaching the students, the players learning and experiencing the plays, either in a classroom or on the blackboard or out on the field. Not everybody gets every play. They really haven't had a chance to perform in a competitive environment. You can see that we are pulling off contact, we are pulling off competitive situations, just trying to make sure everybody knows what to do. The competition will come in training camp and we will see what they can or can't do.

Q: What about [Dan] Klecko and his weight in order to make the transition from defensive line to middle linebacker?

BB: I think where he is now he is probably okay. That is part of what we want to see, is just what his movement skills are at the weight he is at and then talk to him about that, whether that is okay where it is or whether it should change in one way or another. I think that he has the athleticism to play at that position. Obviously, there is some new learning going on there for him. He will definitely play down in some situations as well, maybe all situations, I don't know. This may or may not be a permanent thing. It has given him good exposure and good experience doing something that he really hasn't had much of a chance to do. We will evaluate it and see how that part of it is going. I don't think, really, with him it is the athletic part that I would be worried about. It is more of the transition from playing with his hand on the ground to playing on his feet. That is a big transition. We have a number of guys who have done it and then there are some guys who haven't done it. [Tedy] Bruschi did it. Willie [McGinest] and Mike [Vrabel]. It is a transition and it will probably take a little bit of time. We will see how it goes.

Q: What is your level of expectation on Rosie? Should fans expect to see him this season?

BB: I think Rosie has worked as hard as anybody. He wants to be out there. He is doing all he can to be out there. When he is cleared and ready to go, then that is when he will be a full participant. Right now, he is working to that point. I don't know when.

Q: Do you expect to see him out there this season?

BB: I expect to see him out there when he is ready. When is he ready? When the doctors clear him to play. I don't know.

Q: How has the tight end position evolved over the past couple of years and how has it affected the Patriots?

BB: Well, I think that we try to have a flexible system where we can utilize different player's skills. We have played with multiple receivers. We have played with multiple tight ends. We have played with one-end/two-back sets. We have played some spread offense where there are no backs in the backfield and the quarterback is primarily in the shotgun. I think we have enough flexibility in our system to utilize the players that are productive. Who are the most productive players and what combinations will be most effective for us, we will just have to wait and see how that goes. I think that we have players at the tight end position that have skill and can be productive. I think that we have that in the backfield. I think that we have that at receiver. I think we have it at quarterback. How all of that fits together and it may change from week-to-week based on game plan. I think we will just have to wait and see. Right now the main idea is to get all of the information taught, get it installed, get everybody comfortable with it and then let the players perform it, compete in training camp and see what combinations seem to fit best for us

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