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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed Dec 07 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks to the press about their upcoming game on Sunday.To read a full transcript click on the button below.



BB: Just a little update on the injury report, we upgraded Joe Andruzzi to doubtful from out. I still think it a long shot for him to play, but he is feeling a whole lot better from what it looked like on Sunday and Monday to Tuesday and even yesterday. So I think he is going to try to go out there and do a little bit out there today. We will just see. It is pretty surprising to me that we are talking about him even having a remote chance to play this week, but I think that speaks to his toughness and will.

Also Drew, this is two and a half weeks after his injury. It will probably be another week and a half before he can resume, I shouldn't say resume, but do any type of substantial activity and then we will just have to take it from there. I don't have any predictions on what is going to happen or how it is going to go, but that is kind of the timeframe that we are looking at now. Somewhere in that vicinity, another week and a half before he can start doing some light physical work.

Q: You had said that at this time you had hoped he would be able to do some light jogging or Stairmaster, did the doctors see something that told them to be a little more cautious?

BB: No, I think that was maybe my hope it wasn't any…my medical degree has been withdrawn. I just said that I would update the information as I received it and that's where we are at right now.

Q: Does Joe Andruzzi have to sit down and have a talk with Adrian Klemm about will and toughness?

BB: Joe is a pretty tough guy, he is a pretty tough guy. Really when he came off the field in Miami I think there was a feeling that that might be it for the year, but it turned out really to be not as bad as it appeared at the game. It still looked pretty bad on Monday. He is feeling better and it is looking better. Like I said it is pretty surprising to me that we are even talking about it, but you are right we have had some other guys that have lingered along. Each person is different, each injury is different, two guys can have the same knee injury and one guy can be out two weeks and another guy can be out two months. I don't know, everybody is a little different on that, but Joe is…I don't know, like I said I don't expect him to play, but at this point I don't think I can rule it out.

Q: I know you don't usually give specifics on injuries, but nothing is torn in there? Is it just a sprained knee?

BB: Right. I think his knee might have…when a guy gets an injury, as is explained to me, when a guy gets an injury some people's joints are a little bit loose normally. So when they are examined and they feel loose then sometimes that is a result of a substantial injury and sometimes it really isn't that bad because that is part of the wear and tear and part of the way the joints function for that particular person anyway. So that is why, and I know you can appreciate this, that I don't want to try to jump in five minutes after the injury and say, 'Well yeah this is what it is and this is how long it is going to be,' because it really takes somewhere between 24 and 72 hours a lot of times to determine exactly what it is that we have.

Q: What is the most severe injury you have seen a guy play with?

BB: The one that sticks out the most in my mind would be, two really, would be [Lawrence] Taylor when he was covering a pattern in practice on Friday and he stepped right on the guys' foot and rolled his whole ankle. He came down right on the side of his ankle in full stride about 30 yards down field. It looked bad on film. He went over to that horse, the stables over there at the Meadowlands, they fired some stuff in there and he played against New Orleans. I don't know exactly what kind of medical treatment that was he got, but he was out there on Sunday against New Orleans and it was a bad looking injury on Friday. You would have thought he broke his ankle if you just watched the play on film. Then in [Phil] Simms' rookie year in '79, some of the shots he took, for him to be able to even stay on the field, he has a rare toughness for any position, but especially that position. There were times when he just got killed, not by one guy either, when like three guys hit him at one time and sandwiched him and pretzeled him up. That season was a tough season.

Q: Where do you see your special teams, in general?

BB: I think overall that the special teams have probably been the most consistent unit on our team as it was last year. Unfortunately we have had a handful of plays in the kicking game that have kind of scarred that a little bit. The kickoff return against Cincinnati where we had them hemmed in on the sideline and he broke out, the holding penalty in the Miami game, a couple of our punts were shanked, the fumbled punt in Miami, I mean we all know the plays. But the field goal kicking has been pretty good. The punt coverage has been really good against some good returners. Our kickoff return has been not as consistent as we would like it to be, but it is better than it was last year, significantly better. Our kickoff coverage improved last week. I think we are headed in the right direction on that. That looked like it was going to be a little shaky early even though it…we had a little problem with it in the preseason and then we had a little problem against Cincinnati and the Jets, but I think that has improved. It is certainly not perfect, far from it, but overall I feel pretty confident when we put a unit out on the field that it is going to perform at a pretty decent level.

Q: Any players or performance in particular that stands out?

BB: Obviously Adam [Vinatieri] and the field goal kicking has been good. I think that Je'Rod Cherry has done a real solid job for us. He has actually had a couple of penalties called on him, like the on in the Miami game where they had a decent return, but when then guy held him and created the penalty then that helped our field position. I think Je'Rod has done a nice, solid job for us. Marty Moore, that was a loss, no question. I think Matt Stevens and Tebucky [Jones] have, even though they are both playing a lot on defense, have both done a good, solid job for us. Patrick Pass has improved a lot from last year. Last week [Hakim] Akbar was real encouraging, Antwan Harris played better so our defensive backs and our linebackers and Pass, really that's the majority of the teams other than specialists, not counting the field goal teams. Just to finish that, we have a number of our starting players like [Tedy] Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Stevens and Tebucky Jones I mentioned them, Ted Johnson in that inside linebacker rotation, [Roman] Phifer, all of those guys play on at least one team and a couple of them play on two. Even though it is only one team, but for each one of them to chip in and give us one is good. Those performances have been good to go along with guys like Cherry, [Larry] Izzo and Pass and people like that who are basically on all of the teams.

Q: Have you looked at Klemm inside at one of the guard spots?

BB: No. We are going to keep Klemm outside. I thought Adrian had a much better week last week than I think he did two weeks ago. I think we are seeing some progress there. I think he is pushing for a spot on the 45-man roster if he can keep up his performance consistently in practice.

Q: So it is between [Grey] Ruegamer and Kenyatta [Jones] for the right guard spot?

BB: Yeah Grey and Kenyatta, if you take Joe out of there. That is part of what our thinking was too that, obviously if Joe had been out for a longer time then that would have put more pressure on the guard position, but now that it doesn't look like it is, I mean it might be a week, but it doesn't look like it is going to be eight weeks or twelve weeks or that kind of thing that we will just hang in there with what we have got like we did in the Miami game until he gets back.

Q: Do you pass rush a scrambler differently than you would a classic pocket passer?

BB: Oh absolutely. Really every play is like a draw. You really have to…even though a pass is called because if the lane opens up Doug [Flutie] will be gone. So the same draw responsibilities that we have when he hands the ball to the running back are really the same in a pass rush with a player like Doug because if you create those lanes then he is going to gain that…

Q: Tighter?

BB: Well and more square on the blocker. Anytime that a defender jumps on one side of the blocker then the runner is always going to run on the other side. That is just running instincts. Anytime the defender is square on the blocker then the runner has got to make a choice as to which way to go and the defender tries to mirror them, but if you get on one side or the other then he is just going to take the other plane. Where that is especially dangerous is in man-to-man coverage because if you have all of your defenders running man-to-man with their receivers and you have got your back turned to the quarterback and they are trying to cover their man and they can't see him scrambling then you are even more vulnerable to giving up big yardage on the scrambles. So at least in zone if he pulls it down the zone guys could come up and make the play, but in man coverage it is even more of an emphasis for our defensive linemen. So they really need to know. We make a call that in certain coverages we tell them that you can't let him scramble out here because if there is nobody behind you that can get him, whereas in other coverages we can be a little bit more aggressive and if he scrambles, he scrambles, but at least we have a kind of second line of defense that can come and get him assuming they can tackle him, but at least they are there to approach him.

Q: Does the weak side linebacker have to mark him in some sort of way?

BB: You have to have some kind of way to take care of him. You can either put one guy on him or you can try to do it with your pass rush and coordinate all three or four of them that they are all, again, treating it kind of like a draw play. I think you probably need to do both. There is probably a time when you want to just assign somebody to him and then there are other times when, you can't do it, I mean Flutie has seen that a thousand times, every team in the league has done that to him. He knows how to beat that. At some point you just have to be able to rush him to and make him feel the pocket collapsing and have to throw in there too. I think the idea is trying to keep them off balance and change up on them so he is not seeing the same thing every time, but he has seen that spy, believe me.

Q: Is that tough for pass rushers to contain when they are trying to go all out for the quarterback?

BB: Sure, absolutely. It is hard to keep putting pressure on the pocket and at the same time be disciplined enough to stop and handle the quarterback when he runs out. It is a lot easier when you can just charge and know the guy is going to be back there and aim for that one spot. It is much harder, it's tough. It is tough on the coverage too because of as a defensive back or a linebacker you expect the ball to be thrown in a certain period of time, they drop back, they set, they throw. With him that is just the start of the play and if you don't have him covered he will throw it in there, but if you do have him covered then all hell breaks loose again and you are trying to play the play instead of for four seconds versus five, six, seven, eight seconds and there are a lot of different things that can happen. Your receivers go deep or they go across the field and try to match up on all of that, it is hard.

Q: What is your first reaction to watching Terry Glenn in practice?

BB: I was hoping somebody would ask that. I thought Terry did some good things yesterday. It wasn't perfect. I think that we will see how the second and third day go, what kind of soreness or conditioning effects take place from yesterday's practice, but I thought that he did some good things. I think really it is too early to really be able to predict where that is going to be in Sunday. I think we will probably need a couple more days to see that, we will keep going.

Q: Do you have to make a decision by Friday at 4:00 pm?

BB: Saturday at 4:00 pm. I am going to screw up your afternoon plans Saturday. Yeah, we have to do that by Saturday at 4:00 pm that will be the last time to do it.

Q: Another couple of days like this and you think it is possible that he could play?

BB: Yes I think it is a possibility, I do, I think it is a possibility.

Q: Remote, high?

BB: Player goes out one day and that is one thing, but to be able to do it day after day sometimes guys go out, it is just like in training camp, you know how that goes, you are out there the first day everybody is great and by the third day guys are tired, they sore, some of them have some pulled muscles. There are some residual effects when you continue to train. That is why I don't want to jump the gun and try to make a prediction on really little information. I think after a week of practice then it is a lot easier to make the call then it is after one day.

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