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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 16 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 21 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks to the media about the upcoming game against the Jets in New York on Sunday.To view the transcript, click below.


BB: On the injury front we are going to practice Matt [Chatham] and Willie [McGinest] today. It will probably be a game time decision, but they should be able to do some work out there today. Everybody else went yesterday with [Bryan] Cox and Ted Johnson so we are plugging along there. Here is what I will do, I will throw out one trivia question to you right at the beginning. Whoever gets it right can take first crack at me, which coach has coached the most games in Giants Stadium, head coach or assistant coach, most total games in Giants Stadium?

Media: Bill Belichick?

BB: That's wrong, although I am up there.

Media: Romeo Crennel?

BB: That is it, he has got me by two games.

Q: How many is that?

BB: He has got me by two. I don't know how many it is, but it is a lot.

Q: He said he wasn't told by the physician directly that he was ready to go, are you aware of that?

BB: This wasn't about…this is a disciplinary matter. This is not a medical situation at all. It doesn't have anything to do with medicine. It is just following the rules and regulations on the team, that is what it is about. Rehab guys all do the same thing. They are injured, they get treatment, they get better, then they work with the trainers, then they work with the strength coach and then they eventually come and do some of the individual drills in practice, then they eventually do some of the team drills in practice and then they eventually play. Everybody does the same thing. It is not different for anybody. It is a progression. You get one step, then you go to the next step and when you clear that then you go to the next step. That is what the progression is. If anywhere along the line an injured player can't take the next step then he goes back and does what he did before until he is ready to move up to the next level. It is the same for everybody. I don't know any other way to do it.

Q: His impression was that he is being disciplined because he said no he was not going to practice and that he wasn't ready to go?

BB: That's not the way I saw it at all.

Q: That's not why he was suspended?

BB: That is correct, but we are going to handle it within the team we are not going to do question and answers on Terry Glenn in practice on Wednesday. That's it.

Q: Does Curtis Martin look like he is at the top of his game to you?

BB: He has looked at the top of his game since 1995 to me. When we opened with him here when I was in Cleveland, we opened with him the first game of the '95 season, he ran for, I don't know, 120 yards, whatever it was in that game. I think the first time he carried the ball he went for about 40, had a power play, cut it back, broke it back across the field, he has looked pretty good ever since then to me. I think that was his first carry. It was early in the game. It was right in the first quarter of the game, first game of the year.

Q: What one intangible quality does he have that other backs might not have?

BB: Intangible? I think they are all tangible. He is strong. He is tough. He has got good vision. He is smart. He knows how to use his blockers. Pound for pound he is probably the strongest guy, as strong as anybody in the league, pound for pound. They are all tangible to me. He is a good football player.

Q: What was happening in the first game that he had so much running room?

BB: What was his average per carry?

Q: A little more than four…

BB: What is his average for the year? I mean that is about what it normally is. He got a lot of carries, ran hard. He split us a couple of times and then there were some times when he didn't split us. He is a good back he gets what is there. He runs draw plays well. He has got real good vision. If everybody is not right where they are suppose to be in their gap, he will find the seam. He has got good quickness. He can get outside. He can make people miss. He had one play where he started to his left, broke it back against the grain, back to his right. He probably picked up about six, seven yards on what looked like a loss. So he has got real good vision, good quickness. It is hard to get a clean shot at him because he does a good job of making the defenders miss when they got a chance to tackle him. So a lot of times instead of getting knocked back he is able to squirt through there for another yard or two and make a three yard gain a five yard gain, those kind of things.

Q: I have a quasi-Terry question, with the magnitude of this game do you consider leaving it alone for this game to avoid a distraction or did you do what you did to relieve the distraction?

BB: I did what I did based on what the rules and policies are on the team. I can't control who the opponent is or who the game is or whether it is at home or away or the time of year it is or whether it is a night game, I mean I can't do anything about any of those things. All I can do is deal with whatever situations I have to deal with.

Q: Do you feel that your players for the most part have dealt with the distractions from [Andy] Katzenmoyer, to Coach Rehbein, Glenn, the quarterback thing, there has been a lot of extra stuff that we go down and ask them about…

BB: You ask them about all of those things? I think overall the team has been a pretty hard working and diligent team the whole year going all the way back to the offseason program. I think they have tried to keep their eye on the target and focus on what they individually or as a unit have to do and control the things that they can control and not worry too much about the things that they can't control. I think overall they have done a reasonably good job of that. It certainly has been, we have had a number of situations come up that you mentioned that we have had to deal with in one way or another.

Q: Is must be gratifying because I know you made that a point of some of the guys you went after in the offseason, guys that can handle things like that or adversity?

BB: Right well I don't think it is anything…look, I would just assume not ever have to deal with anything other than coaching the team, looking at the next opponent, trying to get them ready to play, but sometimes things come up that you have to devote time to. That is part of the job, but the less of those and the more time we can concentrate on the real opponent, in this case the Jets, than I think the better we will do in those circumstances. Things come up and every team has got them and you just have to take them as they come and do the best you can with them. Whether it is holidays, last week we had an unorthodox week, but that ended up working out okay for us too.

Q: Has this been an exhausting year for you?

BB: For me it has just been, I have spent a lot of time on things that really aren't, things that aren't going on out on the football field and a lot of the things that Michael [Felger] mentioned really, the guys that aren't playing, whatever the circumstances are. So from that standpoint I have spent quite a bit of time and energy on things like that that really don't…they are not going to carryover onto the football field because in some cases those players, they aren't able to play or they are not playing.

Q: Did you hear anything from the players on Glenn, do you sense a feeling of dissatisfaction from them with him?

BB: I don't want to speak for any of the other players. I think they are capable of giving their opinions or speaking for themselves on that. Yeah, I have a general sense of how I think the team handles different situations or what their feelings are on certain things. As you go through the year you try to keep a pulse on it, but I don't go out and take polls and all of that, I mean I think I have a general sense of it.

Q: What do you think the general sense is?

BB: I think that the players can speak for themselves. I don't want to give what I think their opinion is. If they want to talk about it they can talk about it.

Q: What kind of unique problems dose Kevin Mawae present?

BB: Kevin is…when we talk about offenses we usually say to the team, 'Here are the three go-to guys on their team' or however many they have, maybe they have two, maybe they have four, whatever it is. 'Here are the go-to guys. The go-to guys for the Rams are going to be Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, those are the two go-to guys. If they have got to have it, those are the two guys you have to stop.' It is not very often that you go into a game and say, 'Kevin Mawae is a go-to guy,' because he never handles the ball once he gives it to the quarterback, but when I say he is a go-to guy, he is the guy that really leads the running game and the passing game. On things like screens and plays like that where he is the guy that when they get him out in front of the ball carrier, whether it is Richie [Anderson] or whether it is Curtis or whoever it is, he is the guy that really helps make those plays go. He is excellent at pulling. He is excellent in space. Kevin is a great leader. When I was there he was a tremendous leader on the football team both on the offensive line, but that carried over into the rest of the offensive team and even into the defense. He was a tremendously well-respected player in the years that I was there. So I think that he does a lot in terms of his athleticism to block in the open field, to sustain blocks. He is very quick on the line of scrimmage and he can get up and, what we call, get to the second level, not block the defensive linemen, but get up and block linebackers on the second level probably as well as anybody in the league.

Q: Who would be their go-to guys? Martin, obviously.

BB: Well, Martin definitely is one. We'll give you that after the game. But when you prepare a team defensively, this is what you've got to try to stop. Again, most of the time you don't talk about, you know, a center, that you've got to stop a center. You see good players on the offensive line every week. But because of the way their offense works and what they ask Kevin to do, he definitely is a go-to guy. Those toss sweeps and screen passes and draw plays and stuff like that. You watch him against Miami and he's always out in front of the runner, blocking Zach Thomas, whether it's an inside play, an outside play, a draw play, or whatever it is. And he's, I'm sure in their mind, a go-to guy.

Q: How rare is it to have a center as a go-to guy?

BB: I'd say we probably talk about an offensive lineman being a go-to guy maybe once or twice a year. Again, there are other good players, I'm not saying that there aren't other good players, but Kevin is a unique guy and it's a little bit unique in the way the Jets use him in the running game, because their running game looks to me like it's the same as it's been for the last two or three years. Bill Muir is the offensive line coach and Curtis is the back and the linemen are pretty constant. It looks very similar to me like the way it's looked in the past. The things that Kevin does are really… He's the grease in the machine. He's what makes it go.

Q: How do you nullify him? How do you nullify a center?

BB: Well, that's challenging. He's going to do damage wherever he is. You try to minimize it.

Q: Will you do anything different than what you'd do with any center?

BB: Well, I think without getting technical… He's going to do damage wherever he goes, and I think that sometimes you want to set your fronts up in a way that he does as little damage as possible. You know he's going to make that one block and you can live with that one. It's some of the other ones that you can't live with, where he gets out in front of the runner and blocks guys in the open field. Those are tough blocks and he makes them as well as anybody.

Q: You've been around Bryan Cox for a long time. Are you surprised at how soon he has been able to come back from injury?

BB: Bryan's a tough guy. I don't think pain is anything that would slow him down. He deals with that pretty well. But I think it's about what was anticipated with the injury. It's a broken bone. Almost all broken bones heal in about five or six weeks, whether it's yours, mine, Cox's or anybody else's. The thing he's done well is that he's worked hard to try to keep his conditioning up even though he hadn't been able to run on it for the first two or three weeks, and keep his strength. He's been able to go through the normal steps just like everybody else. He rides the bike without putting any pressure on it, runs in a swimming pool without putting any weight on it, gets on the stepper, as strenuous as that is. Then eventually go to the field, to the ground, and run. Run in the bubble and then work with the team and then start doing things that are more reactive. When you're just out there running and you can kind of plan your cuts and plan your movements because you know where you're going, then that's one type of training. Then there's another type of training where you have to react to what your opponent's doing and you can't plan that out, you've just got to see it and be able to react to it. That's another step in the training, and that's the step he was able to take this week. I'm not saying he's 100 percent back, but he's made the steps at each point he's been trying to move up he's been able to move up. It's gone along maybe a little bit quicker than we thought it would. But you can't heal a bone in a week. You just can't do it. I think that's where we're at.

Q: Did he get through the practices okay?

BB: Yep. We didn't put him in there every play, but we put him in and gave him some opportunities and reps. He took some reps with the scout team and that went okay, he came in for some plays on defense and that went okay, gave him a few more yesterday and we'll give him a few more today. He hasn't had any setbacks. I don't think he's going to go out there and break a land speed record, but he's moving around pretty good and I think each day he'll get a little bit better.

Q: Ditto for Ted [Johnson]?

BB: Ditto for Ted. Very similar. Different injuries, but… And Bryan's actually been out longer than Ted, but in terms of them coming back, I think they're both coming back at about the same time and at about the same rate.

Q: Given the constant level of distraction that Terry Glenn presents, why not end it all? Why keep him around?

BB: Terry, really up until Wednesday, there wasn't a disciplinary matter in the last few weeks that I felt like needed to be dealt with. But this one was.

Q: Given all of the potential for distraction, he wasn't even contributing.

BB: He contributed in the San Diego game. You're the ones that are asking the questions. I don't know how much of a distraction it is for other players on the team. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, you'd have to ask them. They have their job to do, they have their preparation to get ready for. I think most of them are doing it. What somebody else's situation is, I don't know, I couldn't give you a percentage or whatever on what effect it has on them. I mean, I know those things are… Some of the things that you deal with with players are time consuming for the coach, but that's part of the job. That's the way it always is.

Q: Are inactive players required to be here on game days?

BB: It depends on what the player's situation is. Some guys are on injured reserve, some guys are on the practice squad, some guys are on the 53-man active squad but really have no chance to play, then there are other guys who are game time decisions, so you keep 48 or 49 guys ready, but you're not sure what 45 it will be based on game time decisions, so guys are in different categories there. It's not cut and dry. Other than when we're on the road, the only place where it's really cut and dry is on the road with the guys who are traveling. They're the ones who would have the opportunity to play in some circumstance. In other words, if somebody got sick before the game or whatever. If we're working a guy out and making a game time decision and he wasn't ready, there's come combination where those guys could potentially be active. For home games, you've got everybody and they fall into different categories.

Q: But Bryan and Ted are on the 53-man roster. Are they required to be here?

BB: Well, any player who's injured is in a mode where he's getting treatment on his injury, whatever it happens to be. Basically, the more often a player gets treatment, the sooner he's going to get better. That's what every player needs, is his physical health in order to play this game. With Bryan, even though he wasn't going to play last week and knew he wasn't going to play, there were still things that he could do on Sunday because of the level that he was at in his rehabilitation that could be more than he did on Friday with the trainers or the strength coaches, which is what players like that would do when they're here. If they're not playing, they'd be here to get treatment.

Q: The injured players on your 53-man roster are not required to be here for the game, once the get treatment they are allowed to go home or do whatever?

BB: Well again, there are certain things they are required to do…

Q: But staying for the game is not one of them?

BB: Again it would depend on…there is no hard-and-fast rule. I can't say that this is the way it is. There is some variation there depending on what the guy's situation is.

Q: Are you harboring any legitimate hopes that Terry Glenn will be able to contribute to the team this year?

BB: This year? Well I don't know. I don't know. I would say based on what happened last week that we will see where we are next week. I guess I would say I felt better about it last week than I do this week. Let's put it that way. How that will be next week we will just have to wait and see.

Q: When he expresses his feelings of not wanting to here, when you have an unhappy employee what do you do about it?

BB: Well I remember Lawrence Taylor's second year at the Giants he was unhappy and didn't want to be there when we were 3-12-1 he ended up being a happy camper. You know sometimes it works out sometimes it doesn't.

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