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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Apr 16 - 12:00 AM | Sun Apr 18 - 11:59 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

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             **BB:** No news on the injury report, that should stay the same. One of the things I talked to the team about this morning and I think is real important this week is our ability to play 60 minutes. I think that last year's games against the Jets were good examples of how the last two minutes of the game are just as important as the first two minutes and vice versa. We got behind early in the second game and the last couple of minutes in the first game, in the end, were probably the difference in the game. We didn't do a good job of that last week in Cincinnati, or two weeks ago, and that's an emphasis point that we've been really trying to drive home this week and heading into the game I think it's a real important factor in playing any team but especially the Jets. Last year they were a team that came from behind several times and won. They got on top of us early and held on pretty comfortably. That's one thing that I think is a real critical factor for us in the game. We are moving along with the preparations and I think everybody is looking forward to playing and getting back into the flow of things.  

Q: Does it amaze you how often you've had to give that speech to play 60 minutes in your career?
BB: That's a good question, good question. I can remember as a kid playing football those are words that I used to hear from my coaches and I am sure everybody who plays football hears it, or in any sport really. We see it in all sports: baseball, basketball. It's not over until the last out and those things. They are trite, but they really are true and maybe it just addresses the consistency and the ability to stay focused throughout the game. Any time you are in closely contested games it seems like it is just always a small number of plays that could swing it one way or the other. I just use that example of the Jets though, really to illustrate how the beginning of the game in the second game and the end of the game in the first game were real critical points in the game, just really for emphasis this week. We need it all through the game, both the first quarter and the fourth quarter and all the plays in between. I agree with you it is something that, it should be a given, but I don't think it really is probably with any team. It should be.

Q: Are you hoping this week to have some semblance of continuity on the offensive line?
BB: Yes, absolutely. I think we can count on [Mike] Compton being in there, which we were hoping for in Cincinnati and he's had two more weeks of practice and I think that should be something that we can count on. You know [Damien] Woody and [Joe] Andruzzi and Greg [Robinson-Randall] have played pretty regularly through the season so far. So that's four out of five and if we can…hopefully we can get to that point at left tackle as well and have better continuity on our offensive line then we've had in the preseason and the opener.

Q: When you speak to the team, as you did about playing 60 minutes, do any players ever interject?
BB: Usually what I try to do is at the beginning of the day is to talk to them a little bit about the theme of the day. Here's what we are working on. Here's what we want to try to get accomplished today and here's the way we need to be thinking. This is what we need to be thinking about in this game. Here's how we are going to play it. Here's what we need to do to win the game and I try to impart that into them. Sometimes we do talk about it as a team. Maybe I will ask a question, 'What do you think is going to be important this week Woody on the offensive line? What do you think is going to be important in the secondary, Lawyer [Milloy]?' That type of things, but sometimes I just try to give them a message and I tell them to think about it. When we go out on the practice field here are the drills we are going to do today. When we get to this drill here is what I want you to think about. Here's what I want to think about when we are doing our inside running drill. Here's what I want you to think about when we are working on the goal line. And try to prepare them for what is going to happen in the offensive and defensive and special teams meetings that are coming up and also what to think about on the field. Sometimes we talk to the scout team. For example, this week we talked to them about this is the way the Jets defensive line plays. So you guys that are showing us the Jets' defensive line this is what we need to see from you. They do it a little bit different than we do or talking about [Chad] Morton as a punt returner. Here's the way that he likes to run the ball and this is the type of runner he is. And Terrell [Buckley] you're back there running back punts for our punt team. Here's how we want you to try to run it, or that type of thing. So it's emphasis points, sometimes there is feedback from players sometimes it is more just me really trying to put a message to them or put thoughts in to their minds in preparation for what we are going to do later on during the day.

Q: Some people have criticized or questioned the Jets' level of conditioning after the first game. Are you ever concerned about your team's level of conditioning?
BB: Oh absolutely. Yeah absolutely. I think it is definitely a consideration because, I think we talked about it a little bit in preseason, but nobody plays a full game in preseason. I can't remember a player playing every play on offense or defense in a preseason game. Some games, usually it is that third game where they traditionally play a few more plays, maybe in the 40s, somewhere in that range. So going in the regular season, nobody's had that full game, game condition playing. And even if they have it is still not at the same level of intensity as it is during the regular season. And there is a certain amount of game conditioning that you get through playing games. Whether it is basketball or football or whatever the sport is, no matter how many plays you run out there in practice it is not the same and it is not the same intensity as pushing and hitting and running at the tempo that you have to do in the game. Even though we try to simulate and we do running after practice and all that, it is definitely a concern. I think what you normally see, of course the temperature are normally a little bit hotter in early September, but I think what you typically see is that teams in October and November where conditioning is less of a factor. The players have had a number of games to perform and the weather is generally a little bit cooler other than a couple of particular spots in the country. You know and then you see them playing the 60-70 plays a game and you don't look at it and say boy that guy really looks like he is out of shape.

Q: You didn't see any conditioning problems with your team in the opener did you?
BB: I think what I didn't see in the Cincinnati game is I didn't see our level of play really matching Corey Dillon's level in the third quarter. Whether that was conditioning or whether it was, I don't know what it was but it wasn't as high as where he was at, that is for sure. I thought that we did finish strongly particularly on defense in the fourth quarter, which was good. Offensively we had one good drive in the fourth quarter but then we had two more that we didn't finish. You know I don't think the team is in bad condition now, I am not saying that. I think we will be in better condition three weeks from now, just like probably every other team in the league will be when they have more games under their belt and are able to get some true game conditioning. So you want to try to get tot that point as soon as you can. You'd like to get to it the first game instead of the fourth game, or the second game instead of the fifth game, but the fact is I think everybody's team is going to be in better physical condition in the fifth game than the first game and then that is offset a little bit by, guys can be a little banged up at that point.

Q: You talk about the best five guys on the offensive line, has Greg emerged as one of the best five?
BB: I think he has at this point, I do. I think he has at this point. He's been out there every day. He's been consistent, not that there aren't some things in his game that he can't work on but he's done a pretty solid job over there and I don't think anybody has done any better, let's put it that way. So until somebody can play him out of there I think he's established himself at right tackle.
Q: How do they play him out of there, it practice?
BB: yeah, either that or if he doesn't play well. But I think that his level of play is, it's OK now. I think it is getting a little bit better and if he'll keep working hard I think it'll continue to get better and it'll be hard for somebody to play him out of it unless he has a major breakdown or somebody comes on. I think that, I really think that by next week and not to jump ahead to next week at all, I think that by next week that [Adrian] Klemm will be in a much better position to start challenging for some playing time on the offensive line. I don't know if that is going to be the case this week or not. I kind of doubt it here, but I think that by next week we'll start to see him start to challenge for some playing time.

Q: And he could be at either side or even at guard?
BB: I don't know. I mean he's had most of his time at left tackle and how that will stack up with the other guys who have played left tackle, with Matt [Light] and with Grant [Williams] and all, we'll just have to see. I think even though he's been out there, he's been working and he can play, I don't think he's really been able to challenge the way he would like to because he is still a little bit limited by his arm. Not limited in that he can't play, but just limited in his effectiveness. I think that we've turned the corner on that and I think that by next week we'll be able to see him challenge. Now how strong of a challenge he'll mount, whether that will be better or worse than the other guys, that I am not sure of. We'll just have to wait and see.

Q: Normally this time of year, especially this game there is talk of the rivalry but that has been pretty much eliminated?
BB: I don't know about that.

Q: I mean it is really not topic A anymore, is that usually a natural motivator for players? Could that be missing? Are you concerned about that?
BB: You know I still think there is a pretty good rivalry here, I really do. Maybe there's not some of the… maybe some things aren't being slung around like maybe they had been in the past. I don't know, but I think there is a good rivalry.

Q: So you think it still lives?
BB: I really do. I don't think the Jets like us and I don't think we like the Jets. I think both teams want to win the game badly on Sunday. I know a lot of the players down there first hand and I know they're very competitive. They are tough players. They are competitive players. They are not going to back down from anything and I feel the same way about the players on this team. I think that we are…we understand the challenge. We haven't done very well, this organization hasn't done very well against the Jets in the last four years playing against them and we know we have to change that. We have to do something about it. It's not, nobody else is going to do it. And we certainly don't want to take the attitude that we are going to wait for them to have a bad day or that type of thing. We feel like we have to go out there and proactively do things better than we have done them in the past in order to win. That's what our commitment is to do. I see it as a pretty strong rivalry, I really do.

Q:
BB: We'll see Sunday. I imagine our fans won't be throwing a lot of love on them. And I am sure when we go down there we won't get any love from them either. That'd be my guess.

Q: There is a thought that fans will not be as demonstrative to New York teams because of what has happened, do you see that at all?
BB: I can understand that. I really don't think that lessens our desire to win the game and I don't think it is going to lessen their desire to win it either. Again the only experience I can really go back to is the Super bowl in '90. I am not saying it was the same, but it was a similar type of security, kind of a bigger picture situation. Where it was the game but it was also the political and international crisis that was in all of our lives. When the game started and the ball was kicked off those two teams were trying to beat each other, right down to the final play. That's what I would expect to see this week. Maybe I'm wrong but that's what I am expecting.

Q: There has been some subdued celebration in sports this week. Do you want your players to, not trash talk, but act as they would have in the past?
BB: You know that has never really been part of our program. I've never encouraged that. I've told the players from day one that we want to act professionally and not show disrespect to anybody in this organization and any other organization or toward the league. We are all partners in this together and we all respect what everybody else is trying to do. Just like I think everybody respects what we are trying to do. It is not our intention to talk trash or to be disrespectful to any of our competitors. I think they are all worthy and strong competitors and we want to go out there and play the game by the rules and win within the framework within the game. That's what I have tried to emphasize to our team and that's what I feel like we are about.

Q: Trash talking might be the wrong phrase, but if a guy makes a big hit and everyone rallies around, not to show them up…?
BB: I think that's part of the game. I think any time you get a football team together and the team has a good feeling for each other and they are cohesive and there is a good chemistry on the team, if a guy makes a play then it is just natural for the other players that are around him to be supportive of that play and to encourage him. That's not trying to belittle the opponent at all. It's trying to encourage a positive play that one of your players has made. I think that is part of the game. That is the way it should be. That's just genuine enthusiasm for a teammate and I don't know how you can suppress that because if you have strong feelings for each other and you are collectively trying to get something done as a group and then you do it, then you should feel good about it. You should support your teammates that help you do it. To me that is totally separate from a guy sacking a quarterback and standing up there and dancing over him and making gestures to the player or the crowd or bench or that kind of thing. That's a totally different matter. Guys should be excited when they make good plays and their teammates should support them and be excited as well. You know if that doesn't happen then I think there is something wrong there. I really do

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