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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed Apr 14 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

BB: A couple of things I talked about last night was that I thought we had a little more life in the game, showed some toughness and that was one thing I was really happy to see. After the Tampa game I told the team that if we could learn from our mistakes in terms of our preparation and the way we approached the Tampa game and transfer that learning to a positive experience and see what not to do and then do it a different way and see what to do that that would be worth it. I think that we learned a little bit of a lesson down there in Tampa, at least in terms of last night's game so that was good. Right now the next couple of days we are involved in several different processes personnel wise. There is a certain degree of long and short-term planning. It is important to focus on Cincinnati, but we have 16 regular season games and you think about players that improved over the course of training camp. If they continue that rate of improvement where will they be at midseason, where will they be at the end of the season, that kind of thing. It is not just about where we are right now, it is a little bit about the future of the team and certainly the next game and the early part of the season is very important to us. So those are all factors in the planning as well as the injury situation. We have a few guys with bumps and bruises that were trying to sort out where they are physically and that will have a little bit of an impact on some of the decisions of course. Finally we are thinking about the 45-man roster as much as the 53-man roster because that's all we can play with in Cincinnati. Again just looking a last night some of the players playing different positions or working in multiple positions just address the fact that we need guys to play more than one spot when we go to Cincinnati. With 22 starters on offense and defense and a 45-man roster it is to see how you can run out of guys quickly. You just can't afford to have one guy back up every guy on your team. We have to build own depth so that is part of what were trying to do last night. So we're probably going to be meeting quite a bit the next couple of days in terms of the roster and obviously Cincinnati preparations are a high priority too. I did think that the players who came back and played that were injured that hadn't had a chance to play [Matt] Light, [Willie] McGinest, [Terrance] Shaw, [Torrance] Small [Brandon] Mitchell, he played a little bit against Tampa, [Adrian] Klemm, I thought those guys all contributed pretty positively, they showed some good things, it's was good to have them back out there and I don't think there are any setbacks from that group.

Q: Where are you injury-wise after last night and did you make any roster moves at all today?

BB: No we didn't make any moves today. Again we have a couple bumps and bruises, it's the day after we will take a look at those guys and see where we are there. I don't think we have anything that's real serious.

Q: Did you look at the film from last night yet?

BB: Yes.

Q: How good did Matt Light play?

BB: Matt did some good things. I think like a lot of the players that played for the first time last night, again [Adrian] Klemm, [Torrance] Small coming back and [Willie] McGinest there were some things that looked better than others, but I thought Matt did some positive things. He was aggressive in the run blocking and we need that. At times we picked up stunts well and at times we didn't. Part of it is just playing and it's also working together with your teammates and knowing how things get handled as a group. So for a guy that didn't have much training I thought he did a decent job last night.

Q: You said that a lot of the people you had playing at a couple of positions because you wanted to see what depth you could produce does that necessarily mean that the configuration of the offensive line last night is not going to be what we see at Cincinnati?

BB: Right it might not necessarily be that, but in order for us to get a depth of the offensive line, last year we took either seven or eight offensive linemen that were active for the game. So somewhere those extra two guys, you have to fill up five spots so for example last we had Kenyatta [Jones] playing left guard, he's also played left tackle, [Damien] Woody played center, he played guard, [Grey] Ruegamer has played some at guard, Grant Williams has swung at both tackles, so whichever seven or eight guys we bring to the game whatever the number is going we are going to have to have somebody who could play multiple positions and if they can't what I've told the players is if you can only play one spot then you are going to have to play it pretty well or we are probably going to end up bringing somebody else to the game instead of you, you won't be active because we need some versatility. For example, [Greg] Robinson-Randall we have left him at right tackle pretty much the whole camp and he's progressed very well there and we never had the flexibility to move him, but he's progressed well enough that I don't think we'd need to him. Like I said it is a little bit of a combination of both there.

Q: Is there any significance that Matt Light played early and Adrian Klemm played late?

BB: Not really we wanted to see both of those guys play and they were the only ones that played left tackle last night and we hadn't seen either one of them in action this year so we tried to get them as much time as we could.

Q: Will Light be the starter against Cincinnati?

BB: We haven't determined that.

Q: Where is Ty Law at injury-wise right now?

BB: I talked to him this morning I think he is feeling better. We didn't warm him up last night, felt like he needed a day or two off from putting some pressure on his foot. When we go back out and get him out on the field and have him start running I think we will have a better idea, but my expectation would be that he probably has a 50-50 chance if not better to be ready to play this week.

Q: With [Tedy] Bruschi, [Ted] Johnson and [Ty] Law all out of this game would it be fair to say that you would be pretty pleased with the guys that filled in for them?

BB: I thought they did a pretty good job and the played well together especially a guy like Marty Moore who came in with very little practice and picked up things quickly and then had to play significantly in the game when Bruschi pulled up. I thought they did step in and do a pretty credible job.

Q: Are you concerned by the way the offense has continued to sputter going in, what can you do about that?

BB: We always like to see more consistency. We would like to see more consistency in the preseason, but I do think that last night the offense put some drives together, picked up some third downs, didn't have a lot of negative plays and penalties in there which enabled us to keep moving forward. If we can build on that then that will put us in the right direction.

Q: Was the running game what you wanted it to be last night?

BB: No I wouldn't say it was totally where wanted it to be. I thought there were some good things, we had some good runs in the running game a couple of ten plus runs, but then there were times when we didn't get some guys blocked and get some linebackers blocked, we got hit on a couple of blitzes there so it was a combination. At times it was okay, but we would like to average a little more that 2.2 a carry.

Q: Assuming that this is a little bit of a sensitive topic how do you think the replacement officials did last night?

BB: They did their job. I really spent most of my time focusing on our team and our job. I wasn't really looking to evaluate their performance I was concerned more our team, but I thought the game went off okay.

Q: Was this [Richard] Seymour's game and if so why?

BB: I think Richard has had some positive things in every game he has played, he had some last night. There were some other things that he could have done better. He missed a few things out there, but he continues to show up one way or another. He has in all four games and even in the Giant practices. If he can continue to work hard and learn from the things that he sees that are new and take his play on the practice field onto the game field and improve there that he will be okay. He did some good things in the pass rush. Some of his play on the run was just okay, but there have been other times when that has been better. He played a little bit of a new position last night. Overall I am pleased with the progress that he is making, but he still has a long way to go.

Q: At tight end, did you see anything last night that changes where you were from a week ago?

BB: I was glad to see our tight ends catch a couple of passes. I thought the pass to [Jermaine] Wiggins for 20 yards or whatever it was that was a good chunk of yardage that was nice to see contributed from that position. Jermaine and Rod [Rutledge] had a couple of other short catches. That's good. Again I think that
is headed in the right direction. We need some production from that position, I am not saying 150 yards receiving every game, but we have to get something out of it, but that was good. It helped us offensively and we are going to need that on a regular basis from somebody somehow.

Q: Your success with the empty backfield is that something you are trying to capitalize on with all of the receivers you have in camp?

BB: I think we have run that in at least three of our preseason games. It is something that we used last year and we will use this year when we can get an advantage on it. It does spread the field out and gives the quarterback a chance to get rid of the ball to receivers quickly if they can get open. Of course there is not much running threat on it so it has its pluses and minuses. I did think the running backs did a pretty good job from the split position though showing up in the passing game. Antowain [Smith] made a nice catch on that slant pattern. It is in our system if we can use it to our advantage we won't hesitate to, but there are sometimes when we think other things just give us a little bit more advantage.

Q: Has the backfield situation sorted itself out at all in terms of how you will split the workload?

BB: I feel pretty good about the production that we got out of the backs last night. I think that when they had a chance they all showed pretty positive results. I think that at the running back position with J.R. [Redmond] and Antowain [Smith] I kind of feel like we have two starters there. I am sure both guys will play and contribute. I think Marc [Edwards] has done a real good job for us at fullback in preseason, but every time Patrick [Pass] has had a chance to play in the game he has shown up too. I thought he had one of the best plays of the game last night when we had the ball on maybe the 35 yard line and [Tom] Brady flipped him a little pass on third down and he was hit about three or four yards behind the line of scrimmage broke a couple of tackles and was able to get to about the 34. It didn't look like much, but had he not gained any more yardage when he first got hit we probably would have been out of field goal range, but Patrick ran hard and made a four yard gain and it really was a three point play. Then of course Kevin [Faulk] last night had a couple of good runs and had a big play on the screen pass, had a kickoff return against Carolina so he continues to flash some plays when he gets the ball in his hands. If he can just keep it there then that's a key for him.

Q: Have you settled on a number two quarterback?

BB: No, I think that our quarterbacks, again through the course of training camp have shown to be one of the positions that we have a little bit of depth at. We played Damon [Huard] last week against Tampa when [Drew] Bledsoe came out early in the third quarter and we wanted to give that opportunity to Tom this week. So we will sit down and make an evaluation on that, but I think that I, and the team both have a lot of confidence in all three quarterbacks when they are in the game.

Q: Considering everything that has gone with team in training camp are you proud of this team for being 3-1 at this point and going into the regular season off of a victory like this?

BB: The 3-1 right now is 0-0. The slate is clean, everybody's record is the same and right now we are focused on what we need to do in Cincinnati. The preseason is over and I don't think that record good, bad or indifferent means anything to anybody right now. They really start counting when we get out to Cincinnati on Sunday.

Q: Two of the positions you have positive problems in are linebackers and the defensive backfield, are you going to agonize over the decisions of who to keep and who to let go?

BB: I think we do have good competition in both of those spots. I really do and part of the competition extends on to special teams where you have a guy like Je'Rod Cherry or Larry Izzo or Rob Holmberg who are real good special teams players and guys that we really need for us to have a solid unit in those areas. It is a good, competitive situation. We have some younger guys, some older guys, some guys who are primarily defensive players and a couple of guys that walk both sides of that line. I think that there is good competition there and the thing I like about all of those players too is that they have kept a real good attitude throughout the course of training camp where competition has gone on and where we rotated to try to build depth and also let everybody compete. The team's attitude has been real good and those guys have had a real good attitude about working together, helping each other and playing better team defense. The question earlier about am I proud of what the team has overcome in training camp, the record is 0-0 so there is nothing that really stands for it, but I am happy with the team's overall attitude and generally the work ethic. The biggest problem I had was the Tampa week, but other than that I thought it has been pretty good.

Q: Is Grey Ruegamer going to be the shogun snap specialist?

BB: Not necessarily I wouldn't say that, but Grey is a good shotgun snapper. When he has been in there we have used the shotgun quite a bit and those snaps have been real clean. He has done a good job there and Grey can play guard and center so he has really improved his stock through the course of camp.

Q: Talked about how much better team got ready this week as opposed to last week what were some of those differences and were those things that you talked to the team about or did the players initiate it on their own?

BB: I think that I pushed them, the coaches pushed them and I think the players pushed themselves. There were several things one was the way we started the game. Down in Tampa we started by having trouble on our first kickoff return and then we had a third and one and we didn't pick that up. Defensively are first play was a long run from scrimmage against us. This week we started off with a couple of third down conversions. We had good pressure on the quarterback on third down on our first defensive drive. We had pretty good field position in the first quarter do I think we got off to a lot better start. I thought the communication was better and that was an emphasis area down in Tampa. We broke down on some communications down there with some line calls on offense, missed some blocking assignments and we missed a couple of coverages on defense and had guys running open. A couple of times the plays repeated and the same thing happened a second time. Those are things that we emphasized to the team that we needed to get straightened out that we can. If we get a play that goes against or if they run a defense against us and we don't handle it we have to be able to communicate what the adjustments are and get them handled and get them down right there at that time. We can't wait until we go over the film the next day. I thought things like that were much improved from Tampa, yes.

Q: Is Seymour in the mix to be a first or second down nose tackle?

BB: I think that we want to get Richard on the field and I think he deserves to be on the field and get some playing time. What's best for us and where the best spot for that is I am not sure. We hadn't played him at nose before and we played Brandon [Mitchell] there last week against Tampa and then this week Brandon played outside at end so we want to get our best players on the field, but we also have to make sure that we have depth at the position. I think that Richard's versatility between playing inside and outside can maybe give him the opportunity to do both as we were talking about with Brandon, the same type of thing.

Q: Have you seen any improvement in Kenyatta [Jones], specifically last night on a play-by-play basis?

BB: I think Kenyatta did improve last night. He played guard for the first time and one of the big differences between guard and tackle is that things happen a lot quicker at guard than they do at tackle. There are more combinations in there, linebackers and linemen stunting and all of that. It happens quickly and there are more of them. I thought that he took a good step last night. He played more than any other player on our team. When Sale [Isaia] came out early he replaced him very early in the first quarter and pretty much went the rest of the way so I thought he sucked it up and did a lot better than when he had to play the line in Carolina. There was some improvement there. I do think Kenyatta is getting better day by day and I thought he was really challenged by the move to guard last week with it being a short week and learning the plays from that position and all of that. All things considered I thought he did a decent job in there last night.

Q: In general are you happy where you are now, are you where you expected to be?

BB: It is not about being happy or unhappy it is about making progress toward the season and making progress toward the opener. Right now that is really where our focus is to get our team set, to try to get our team ready to play against Cincinnati and at the same time take into consideration that we have 15 games after that that we also have to be ready for. The things that we did well against Washington we want to build on, the things that we didn't do well we need to correct and improve. I don't thing anybody is happy or anybody is satisfied or even unhappy it is more a question of just moving forward. If you really want the answer to that question I guess you are going to have to ask me that Sunday afternoon.

Q: Would it be accurate to say that you were most please with the way they responded from the Tampa game more than anything?

BB: I was pleased with the way that they approached this game. I think that we learned a lesson from the Tampa game and the Tampa week in terms of preparation and attitude towards the game and that sort of thing.

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