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Bill Belichick Press Conference - 1/30/2008

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at the Patriots Super Bowl XLII headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 30, 2008.


(opening comments)

"We are looking forward to getting back on the field today. We had a good day over at the stadium yesterday. [It's a] beautiful facility and I'm looking forward to being there Sunday night, but we have a lot of work to do here today in some situational stuff and getting into the preparations for the Giants on third down, two-minute, red area and things like that. We are looking forward to getting to work on that and we know we have a lot to do, so hopefully we'll have a good morning here and the weather's good, [we'll] have a good practice and keep getting ready for the Giants."

(On Cleveland Browns Coach Romeo Crennel)

"Romeo and I go all the way back to, what is it, '80, '81, with the Giants and we've had a long history working together. [We] worked on the same side of the ball, with special teams, defense and worked together of course at the Giants and several other places. He's an outstanding coach. He does a lot of things well. [He] really works well with the players, he's a great teacher, he has a good football mind. We had a tough fight on our hands with the Browns this year, so I think he's done a real good job there to turn that program around.


"I don't know, how do you rate it?"


"[They] probably talk about it a lot more than we do, then. The games are won out on the field – players making plays, blocking, tackling and throwing, catching, kicking, doing the right thing, executing their assignments. That's what wins the game. Take all that… Players banging their heads against the lockers on the way out to field – Really, that's all over after the first kickoff."

*(on what Wes Welker has meant to the offense and what he saw of him in Miami that made him think he would have such an impact) *

"Well, unfortunately we saw too much of him in Miami. He killed us. He played a lot in the slot down there for the last couple years, returned kicks, and actually even kicked off and kicked field goals against us one year when [Olindo] Mare got hurt in pregame. Wes had been very productive. When we tried to defend him, we had a lot of trouble with him. Really, the only way we could handle him was to double him and that was a problem too. Wes has come in and done a lot of those same things for us. He is a versatile guy who has helped us in the return game and he's has also been a very productive receiver both on down field passes and run-after-catch plays – things like that. He has a lot of quickness, he's smart. For a little guy, he's tough. He's a good blocker. He does a great job, really. Everything we've asked him to do, he's really been a good contributor for us. Whether he gets the ball or doesn't get the ball, he's been a factor on a lot of plays."

(On how much confidence he has in his defensive backs)

"Well, I have confidence in all of the players that we put out there on the field. If we didn't, then we should put somebody else out there. I have confidence in all of the players that play."

*(on Robert Kraft as an owner and his contributions to the team's success) *

"I think it all starts, of course, at the top. I appreciate what Robert did to bring me to the Patriots. [He] gave up a number one draft choice, and he's given me a lot of support. He has given me the opportunity to run the program the way I feel like it needs to be run, in terms of kind of the way we do things. Scott [Pioli] and I have been able to put together a roster, put together a team that we feel like is competitive and Robert has given us a lot of support on that, both financially and of course out facilities there have been upgraded tremendously since I got there in 2000, with the stadium and all the – the training, weight and all the other facilities. We have a good relationship. We spend time together in and out of the office. I think philosophically we are on the same page and I appreciate the support that he has given me through the eight years I have been there and even the year in '96. That was an awesome year for me coming from Cleveland. The coming into the '96 season, we came to play in the Super Bowl against Green Bay and came back with people like Al [Groh], Romeo [Crennel], Mike Sweatman, Charlie Weis and Bill [Parcells]. I got to know Robert and the Patriots organization. I'm sure that had a lot to do with eventually my return in 2000. That's really when I first got to know Robert, so it's been over a decade. He's a good man to work for and he's a good friend."

*(on how working with three positions in his two years in Detroit as an assistant influenced his progression as a coach) *

"It had a lot to do with it. I think those were two of the best years I had as a young assistant coach. In '76 I coached the tight ends for Coach [Rick] Forzano and ultimately for Coach [Tommy] Hudspeth after Coach Forzano resigned. I also worked with special teams and a little bit on the defensive side of the ball with people like Jerry Glanville, Fritz Shurmur and Floyd Reece. Then in '77 when Ed Hughes came in as the coordinator, then I coached the receivers. Again, it was an awesome experience working with the assistant coaches that were on those two staffs and being able to work on the offensive side of the ball. I picked up some defensive experience the first year in Baltimore and then in Denver in '78 and then of course spent quite a bit of time on defense at the Giants, but those two offensive years really taught me a lot about offensive terminology [and] systems. It helped me become a better defensive coach later on in my career and I've always reflected back on the time I spent as an offensive coach, whether it was at Detroit or Cleveland as a head coach and even the years I've been here. Coaching on the offensive [side of the] ball helps you be a better defensive coach when I became involved in the offense, and even the years that I've done it here, that coaching on the offensive side of the ball helps you be a better defensive coach, and coaching on the defensive side of the ball helps you be a better offensive coach. There is no question that my background in Detroit in special teams, working with Floyd and Jerry in particular, enabled me to get the job I got with the Giants, which was the special teams coach in 1979 with Coach [Ray] Perkins. Really, I don't think -- You never know what is going to happen, but I have a hard time picturing my career going the way it did without the two years I had in Detroit. Mr. Ford was a great owner and he really treated us right. The Silverdome was just built a few years before that and it was a very exciting time to be there. I just wish we could have won a few more games."

*(on the qualities he saw in Kelley Washington that indicated he would be good in special teams) *

"I think he did a good job for Cincinnati when he played in the kicking game. Unfortunately, the last couple of years there his season was kind cut short, but Kelley's big, he's fast, he's about 215. He runs well, obviously, as a receiver. He's a physical kid, he's a good blocker and he has a good knack for playing in the kicking game. We have a lot of confidence in Kelley as a receiver. We've had other receivers who got a little bit of a jump on him early in camp and just were ahead of him, but every time Kelley has had a chance to play, whether it's been in preseason or some limited opportunities during the regular season as a receiver, he's done a good job. I feel that I have a lot of confidence in Kelley, our quarterbacks do, and I know Josh [McDaniels] does. When we have been in five wides andf things like that, he's played and I think he's a good receiver. I really do. He hasn't had a lot of opportunity, but if he did I'm sure that he'd be productive with it like he was in preseason at that time."

*(on if the change in time zones has had any effect on preparations) *

"I think the adjustment has been good. We're on Mountain Time, there is no doubt about that. Everybody's time clock has adjusted to that. One thing I like about it is it shortens the day a little bit leading up to the game. Those six o'clock games on Eastern Time – it's a long day as it is and that stretches that out even further. I think playing at four instead of playing at six makes it – just shortens it up a little on game day. It's no big thing, it's the same for both teams, but I think that's really the only adjustment that I see, is how, relative to the last time we played, Sunday will go just a little bit quicker – not that it's going to go quick[ly], -- but it will go a little bit quicker than it did on a 6:00 game."

*(on what Troy Brown's presence has meant to the team off the field) *

"Troy Brown means a lot to this football team, to our entire organization and the New England community. Troy is just an exceptional person and player. His contributions to charitable things -- United Way and stuff like that -- are pretty well documented. Troy is a great leader. Nobody works harder and is more unselfish than Troy Brown since I have been with the Patriots, and that's going all the way back to '96. Troy has been a contributor of course in the kicking game and offensively. In recent years he has contributed for us significantly on the defensive side of the ball as well, which he's worked there again this year. I don't think I've ever coached a player more unselfish than Troy, but at the same time very productive. Last year we went out to Green Bay and had some injuries in the secondary and he covered Donald Driver most of the game and Driver had two catches. That's the kind of competitor and that's the kind of player Troy is. You can count on Troy to do whatever you ask him to do. He will give you his best, 100 percent, every single time. He is a very versatile player, [and] is as well-respected in the locker room -- and we have a lot of guys who are well respected, but I would certainly put him up there with all of them. He is just an outstanding player for our organization and our football team."

*(on the job Dante Scarnecchia does with the offensive line and why he's wearing a Rutgers lacrosse jacket) *

"It's my son's. He used to wear my stuff, so now I'm getting into his closet. You can't say enough about Dante, the job he's done with the offensive line this year and through the years. Every week those guys are extremely well-prepared. They play hard, they play well and make very few mistakes. They play together as a unit well. We have had different people there through the years at different positions, particularly on the right side of the line, but Dante has a great deal of experience and is very energetic. Despite what his chronological age is he coaches with a vigor and energy and enthusiasm that is kind of special and that's very noticeable on the field. I think his players and Dante have a very special relationship. Those offensive linemen and their line coach have a very special and close relationship that is good for our football team."

*(on how his experience at Cleveland shaped him as the coach he is today) *

"Another softball. I love it. You learn something every game you coach, every practice, every year. Certainly the five years in Cleveland taught me a lot about managing a team... Although I had some help. Let's forget about that for the moment. Just the whole salary cap that came in in '92, '93 and managing the entire football team as a head coach, which was something I hadn't done before, there was certainly a lot to learn. [I] took those experiences and tried to build off of them and improve them through the years, both how to handle the team more off the field and probably delegate more responsibility than I did in Cleveland to my assistants and other people in the organization that are involved in the operational and support ends of the game."

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