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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 23 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 28 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

To listen to the press conference, click on the play button to the left. To read a transcript, click on the full article button below.

BB: Just a couple of notes on the roster, we waived Antico Dalton and [Maugaula] Ula Tuitele this morning. We placed Ray Hill, Andy Katzenmoyer and Jabari Holloway on injured reserve so they will not count on the 65 limit. We have a couple more procedural moves that won't be done until the end of the day so we will give you those once they occur, but they are still works in progress. On the injured guys the four players that we expect to play in the game that haven't played are [Matt] Light, [Terrance] Shaw, [Adrian] Klemm and [Willie] McGinest. They all worked yesterday and I think they're going to be okay to go so we expect them to play. There are probably a couple of other guys that will be close [Ty] Law, [Mike] Compton, Ted Johnson, guys like that. Maybe I am forgetting somebody, but I don't think so and those will probably closer to game time decisions, we will see how that goes, but these four guys look like they're ready. That is where we are at now.

Q: Is it more important for Mike Compton to get out there since you haven't seen him play yet?

BB: If we can get him out there that would be good, but I think we are in one of those situations where we feel like we are almost out of the woods and whether there would be almost no chance of anything reoccurring and the dilemma of whether to squeeze a little playing time out of him in a preseason game to get ready versus being fully confident that it is over, it's done with, that everything is fully healed that it is not 98 percent healed. That is really what that comes down to.

Q: How long do you expect your first string to play Thursday?

BB: We have a rotation going at a couple of positions, but I would think that we would probably keep those rotations going through the first half or pretty close to the first half.

Q: How much of a benefit is it too put him in the game as he is now to see him in preseason or would it be more beneficial to wait until he is 100 percent?

BB: The tradeoffs of that have been whatever the percent chance that he could re-aggravate it. That's the trade off. If we could do it and be 100 percent confident that it was totally healed, maybe if it is a regular season game maybe that would be the determination, but a few more days to get that security, that's the tradeoff.

Q: In terms of players that may be available after cuts, would you realistically expect to get anything out of this round or next week?

BB: I think it is possible we could find something on this one. We spent the last couple of nights going through a lot of players. A lot of these moves we anticipated. We had our eye on a couple of guys to see what happened to them, we wanted to follow up on it. I wouldn't rule it out. I'm sure it will be a more interesting group of names at the 53 cut, that goes without saying.

Q: Going into the final preseason game what is bothering you about this team?

BB: I think every NFL season that I've been involved in it always comes down to the opening game. That's when you really find out where you're at. I think there are a lot of times in preseason that can point you in a certain direction, but that's where you really know we're you are at, when teams really start game planning and you see the full match-ups for 60 minutes and everybody is playing at the same level of intensity. I think that if you look at our preseason you can see a difference in the level that we played at as a football team and I think you can take a look at a lot of other teams in league and find a similar discrepancy. Whether it be the teams that we played or other teams in the league, I think that is pretty imminent, it really is. I don't think you ever really know until you get to opening day or really the first month season. I think that's when you really know. I think there are other signs that point to it. A couple of other things that I think are encouraging are the overall play of the defense even though there have been some lapses and some breakdowns, some of it is has been exposed, some of it hasn't. I think overall that it has been fairly consistent. I think our special teams play has been fairly consistent. The kicking could be little bit better, our return game could be a little bit better, but I think it's been fairly consistent. Offensively I think that we haven't been able to play with the consistency that I would like to see us play with. I am not saying that that isn't there, but it hasn't shown up as much on the field, that's what I would like to see. I think the red area is not where it needs to be on either side of the ball and I think the third down situation has definitely improved on both sides of the ball from where it was last year. I am not saying that's where it needs to be either, but I think it definitely has improved. There have some encouraging signs in the running game, there have been some encouraging signs on third down, but those need to be more consistent offensively.

Q: Do you find yourself grappling with the decision of how much to play Drew Bledsoe in the game? On the one hand he needs work, on the other you could be risking injury?

BB: No I think we just need to go with what we need to do. You can't buy insurance. If they need to play, they need to play. I think we need to continue to move along as a football team and as an offensive football team something's we are a little bit restricted by, but we just have to work around those. I don't think we can stop. We still have to keep moving forward.

Q: With this accelerated week have you looked at Washington already?

BB: Not as much as I would like to, but I have seen them. This has been a tough week, the residual from the Tampa game in terms of looking at the tape and making those corrections. There were certainly a number of things to adjust there, personnel issues, Washington. Right now we are in the process of really pulling things together on Cincinnati. They played their third preseason game so we want to be fully ready go on them next week as soon as we get a chance. So there number of things coming together. We have some bumps and bruises and we are trying to work around some of those situations with some guys coming back and all of that. It has been a pretty challenging week. There are a lot of decisions, a lot of things going on and I think that there is a ten-day period between about three or four days before the third preseason game and a day or two after the last preseason game, whatever that time span is. I think for the coaching staff this is probably one of the toughest times during the year. I am not just saying for myself, but for all the coaches trying to do game plans, personal decisions, trying to get things ready go for your opening game. It is a lot coming together in a short amount of time breaking camp, getting relocated, making the logistical move there. So yes it has been a tight week and I would say that for all the coaches.

Q: Do you have general impressions of the Redskins?

BB: They have made a lot of changes. I think they have a pretty good offensive line, a big offensive line. They haven't been able to play their quarterback very much so I would imagine that we would see [Jeff] George in the game, but I think it is a little hard to evaluate their offense without him in there, even though [Tony] Banks came in and did a good job last week. They have a good tight end. [Stephen] Davis hasn't played much either so they are missing a quarterback and a running back who are pretty significant players for them. Defensively they have some new faces there. I think there are some pretty athletic people on that team [Dan] Wilkinson, [Bruce] Smith, [LaVar] Arrington, [Sam] Shade, [Champ] Bailey, I think their overall depth on defense is something that is okay, I wouldn't say it was bad, but it's OK, but I do think they have some pretty skilled players on the defensive unit and again Smith hasn't played a lot for them. So they have had two or three guys that haven't had much action this year.

Q: Sean Morey playing offense, defense and special teams, is that just a good preseason story or is it something that could go over into the regular season?

BB: Well that is the way it is going to have to be for Sean, that is what his role is going to have to be. We designed that for him at the end of last year and when we sent him to Europe, we sent him over to play defense and to learn how to be a better defensive player so that he could provide that kind of depth. Yeah, Sean's role is number one special teams and then in conjunction with that to be able to play in a role on the offensive and defensive side. Not in a regular defensive set or offensive set, but with three or four receivers on the field or with five or six defensive backs on the field, that's where his role would have to fit in, it would be kind of specialized. If he could do that, then that saves some roster spots. It creates some depth and as long as he can produce when he is in there, then that could be valuable for the team. That's where it's going to have to be.

Q: Have you had guys that have done that in the past?

BB: Well Ray Lucas kind of had a little bit of that element, a little more on the offensive side of the ball. But you know he did work on defense and for a quarterback and a receiver, was more involved in the kicking game than a lot of those guys are. You know, kind of similar to Sean, but he did have some elements of defense. I think Ray progressed at a good rate on the offensive side of the ball and so he actually I think became, well he obviously became more of an offensive player because his skills improved to where he could really compete just totally on that side of the ball and didn't need to…but I think he was a similar kind of guy. Steve Neal, not quite that far along yet but…

Q: You mentioned [Greg] Spires yesterday, how is he doing and where does he fit in?

BB: I think Greg's had a pretty good off-season. He's dropped some weight. He's down lower than I've ever seen him, even when he was here earlier in his career he was in the fifties and has a little bit more quickness and is playing a little bit better in space. His role for us has really been as a third down pass rusher and then situationally. He's played on defense in regular situations, but more in the passing situations where he can use his speed and rush off the edge. I thought he made some nice plays at the end of the game last week against Tampa. He had a couple real good rushes there at the end and I think Greg, as a situational player, has started to work into that role and he has done a decent job with it.

Q: Richard Seymour made some plays last game…?

BB: I hope so. I hope so. Richard has shown up in all the games and he has shown up in a couple of the intra-squad practices that we had and he has been pretty consistent showing up every week and one way or another, whether it is making tackles in the running game or batting down passes or he had an interception last week and he blocked a punt in one of our scrimmages, that kind of thing. So yes, he has shown up on a pretty regular basis. I had a good talk with Richard yesterday and I think he is becoming a little bit more instinctive. One of the things he needs to do is to get into a little more game condition. Not that he is not in good shape and he could go out there and run all day with everybody, but the pushing, the hitting, the pounding, and still being able to maintain that at a high level for eight, nine, ten plays or whatever it is in the series. You know he's just like a lot of linemen now and we saw that with a couple of our offensive linemen in the Carolina game. Young guys, they are working against bigger people, stronger people. It's taking a lot more effort than it took in college. And not that they are not in good running shape, but it is kind of like boxing. You know, where you are fighting and you are punching and you are hitting and you are getting hit round after round after round. To be able to go the full 12 rounds takes a little bit different type of conditioning then being able to run a ten-minute mile and a half and all that.

Q: Would you say he is ahead of the average rookie?

BB: Richard? Yeah, I would say so.

Q: Would you say Sean Morey has a pretty good chance to make this team?

BB: I think Sean is very competitive to make the team. I think that there are going to be some tough decisions next week. I don't want to try to forecast that too closely because there are a lot of things to take into consideration, but I think Sean, in my mind he is a significantly better player than he was last year. He has a role. Whether that role is more valuable than someone else's role, we mentioned other players who have roles and that's what it will come down to. You can't keep all role players. These guys who can just go out and do regular jobs down after down after down and you need to have depth at that position too. But I think he is certainly competitive and has a good solid chance. I can't sit here and guarantee anything for anybody.

Q: There are other guys like him that are on the edge and it must be nerving for them. Is that part of it to be able to play through it and still perform?

BB: Sure it is and it is a tough situation. I mean every year you see…I mean the players, they can add it up. They can start to see what's happening. There are certain guys on the team that we all know are going to be here. They've been solid and they are established players and they have had good preseasons and they are going to play. Then there is another group of players that are essentially either backups, role players, or situational players. You know they bring certain things to the game. There are other things that other people are better at than they are and a lot of those players are going to play in the league and some of them are probably going to be released and then they are eventually either going to play for somebody else who has a little more value or need for that role or once injuries occur during the course of the season, they'll be one of the first or second guys that teams pull off to do that. It is, mentally it is a tough thing for those guys. They are competing. It is generally a pretty hard working group of people. They know that they are in a tough spot. They're busting their butts. They're doing all they can and some of them are going to make it and some of them aren't. I think eventually most of them will make it one way or another. Yeah it is physically and it is mentally tough, but I tell you the ones that do well in those situations, what I have learned is, you can usually count on those guys during the year. On the flip side of it, the balance on that are the younger players maybe aren't quite there right now, but where do you think they'll be in a year or a half-a-year. Even though a guy may not be as good or quite as ready today, if you just look down the road, then where will he be in a little bit longer vision. If they're going to pass those guys up then you have to make the decision of who's more valuable, the guy who's further ahead now with more experience or the younger guy with more upside. And we have both seen those younger guys go both ways. Sometimes they pass them up, like the Chad Eatons of the world. Sometimes they fall short and end up not doing anything. I could rattle off plenty of them.

Q: Are the older kickers starting to pull away now or is the competition still there?

BB: I think Adam [Vinatieri] has had a good solid camp. I think Owen [Pochman] has…I think he started a little bit slower the first two weeks, but then I thought he started to come on at the end of the Giant week and into that game. He's kicking more consistently and kicking better than he did earlier in camp. So again that is another interesting situation there. I think both those guys are pretty good and it certainly would be hard to fault much of anything that Adam's done this year in camp though, he's…other than that kickoff down at Tampa, he's done pretty well.

Q: Could it be a situation where Pochman stays around for kickoffs?

BB: That's certainly a possibility. It is certainly a possibility. Last year we carried four quarterbacks, because we felt we had more depth and quality at that position than we did in some others. That could be the same situation this year with the kickers. I think there's a good level of talent and ability there and we like both players. Whether we will be able to keep them both or not, again it would mean relative to somewhere else. How much Owen will be able to contribute as a kickoff guy and the overall value of one to the other.

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