Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, October 7, 2010.
BB: I just thought I would try to shed a little light on the trade with Randy [Moss]. I'm sure I'm not going to be able to answer all the questions that you have, but I'll just say that Randy was really a pleasure to coach. I enjoyed having him on our team. He made a lot of contributions to this football team. When I spoke with Randy yesterday morning, our conversations were consistent with what they've been over the last four years: honest, open, very forthright. We talked about a lot of things, which I will keep between Randy and myself. In the end, it was a difficult decision, but one that I feel is in the best interest of the football team. Organizationally, we've had conversations and obviously are comfortable with the trade. I wish Randy the absolute best. He's been a guy - a player - that I have always had a good relationship with. He's been very honest and when I've asked him questions about football, personnel, things like that, he's been very helpful to me, personally, and [he's] been very professional and, I think, a good teammate and a good contributing member of this team. But in the end, that was the decision. And I have confidence in our players. I think if they continue to work hard and improve, then we'll be competitive [and] we'll be able to win games. And that's what we're here to do: win games. We've won more games than any other team in the last decade. I hope we can continue to win them going forward. That's what we're here for. That's really about the long and short of it.
Q: We've heard you say over the years that your bottom line philosophy is that the decisions you make are what's the best for the team. Can you explain why this decision-
BB: Well, it's a combination of things. That would be a much longer discussion than we're going to have. It's a combination of factors. But I would say this: there was never any incident or discipline problem with Randy. There never has been one with me in four years. And it certainly wasn't about contract and money. I think Randy showed and proved the first year he was here what that was all about. What he did with his contract made the whole deal work. I think you can eliminate those two things.
Q: In talking to fans yesterday, a lot seem to be very confused about the whole thing.
BB: It was done in the best interest of the football team. And it's a combination of things. That's what we feel like is best.
Q: Can you shed a little more light on it for the fans who are confused?
BB: As I said, I don't think I can answer every single question for you. I'm not going to try to. I'll tell you what I can.
Q: There have been reports now about a discussion on the plane ride back from Miami? Can you talk about that?
BB: Absolutely not true. Total fabrication. I didn't even talk to Randy on the plane.
Q: What they're saying is that -
BB: I just said there is no incident. I have never had one with Randy. Never. Not in four years.
Q: Has Randy had issues with any other coaches or personnel that concerned you?
BB: I told you how I felt about Randy.
Q: Can you describe from a football standpoint what losing Randy Moss means to the team and how you will try to deal with that?
BB: We have a lot of players on our football team. I have a lot of confidence in our total team, all of our players - our offensive players. We'll continue to try to do the best we can as a coaching staff and players, individually and executing their jobs and their assignments, to be a productive team that wins games. That's what we'll do. Each week is different. Every game plan is different. What we do this week will be what we think is best for the Ravens, just like what we did last week was what we thought was best for Miami. That's the way it will be every week.
Q: When you look at what Randy can do on the field, what will be the most difficult skill to replace?
BB: Well, Randy is a unique player, so I don't know that you replace a player like Randy or Kevin Faulk or guys like that. They are special players. They have a unique set of skills. Other players do different things and they bring different things to the table. As a team, it's collectively about what we do as a total football team. That's what it's always been and that's what it will be.
Q: To what extent do you think this will hurt the team's chances for another Super Bowl victory?
BB: Well, right now I think our big thing is to go out on the field like we do every day and try to improve and get better as a football team. So, that's what we're going to do today, tomorrow, and next week getting ready for the Ravens.
Q: So you don't think it hurts your chances?
BB: I think we're going to work hard to be as good as we can be.
Q: What kind of input did you get from Tom Brady on this?
BB: I made the [decision]. Tom doesn't make personnel decisions.
Q: Did he try to lobby on Randy's behalf at all?
BB: Tom is a player.
Q: Is this something that just came up or how long have you been working on this?
BB: I think, again, any conversations [between] myself and Randy, our conversations with any other team, organizations, or any internal conversations that we have organizationally about personnel decisions and so forth, I think are best kept private, which is what the intent of those conversations were.
Q: If it wasn't about Randy being a bad teammate or contract issues, was this just about the offense wanting to go in a new direction?
BB: It was a combination of factors. There was no one thing. It was a combination of things, and in the end, we felt like what we did what was best for the football team. And again, another part of it was just the personal relationship with Randy. And in talking to him, some of the feelings and things that he expressed that he and I talked openly about, when all was said and done and it all was put together, I felt like that was the best thing.