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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 18 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 23 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks to the press about the upcoming game on Sunday in Indianapolis.To view the full transcript, click the button below.



BB: No changes on the injury report, no roster moves, we are just getting ready for Indy. We are going to practice inside today. We are going to turn up a little noise and try to acclimate the team a little bit to the noise for the snap count, passing situations and audibles and that kind of thing. As I told them this morning the best way to keep the crowd quiet would be not to let [Marvin] Harrison catch those long touchdown passes that is about as noisy as you can get when you let him catch those 80 yarders. That puts a lot of volume into the fans, but that is about all that I have got today.

Q: What is the deal on J.R. Redmond? Is he ever going to play, is he ever going to surface?

BB: I think so, I think so. J.R. practiced yesterday. He did a lot more than he did last week. He was kind of just trying it out last week. Yesterday he was actually out there running scout team, running plays, working with the offense. So that situation is much improved. It will probably still be a game time decision, but he is much improved. I think he will definitely play before the end of the year, yeah.

Q: Do you think he babies himself?

BB: No I really don't. I think the injury that he has had this year is probably similar to Matt Light's and Matt missed three preseason games, four preseason games whatever it was, three, and a little bit of training camp time. I think that is about probably where J.R. is going to end up, somewhere in that neighborhood. I know J.R., when it happened, none of us thought that it would be that long. I think that J.R. was hoping for it to be quicker than that, but that is kind of nature taking its course. Sometimes with a big guy, a 300 pound guy, you think those injuries are going to last longer and linger longer because of a bigger person and all of that, but then the flip side of it is that a lot of times those guys play in a lot shorter area or smaller area than the backs and receivers and dbs and those guys have to function in. Actually sometimes it is worse for the smaller guys because there so much more space that they have to be involved in.

Q: So health aside, if he were 100 percent healthy he would behind the other two.

BB: I think we can use J.R. Kevin [Faulk] and Antowain [Smith] have both done a good job, no complaints there and really no complaints with any of those guys. I think they all, when they have had a chance to play, they have contributed this year. It is hard to use all of them. You only have one ball and they are not really blockers, I mean they can block, but their feature thing is not to block. But they all can contribute and they all have contributed. Kevin and Antowain I think have complimented each other well the last few weeks. The cutback runs and so forth that Kevin has had and Antowain is more of a power player, so that has seemed to have worked out pretty well. Kevin has given us a little lift on returns too, not that our return game is lighting up the league, but I think he has done a decent job running the ball on kickoffs.

Q: You have also gotten some good plays out of Patrick Pass recently, how is he progressing?

BB: Good, good. Patrick is a much better football player than he was last year. I would say probably more in the kicking game than anything else, but offensively we have asked him to make the switch from running back to fullback and he has done a pretty good job of that. He has always been effective with the ball in his hands. That's when he has been, I think, the most effective since he has been here. But his blocking has improved this year, not that he is…I don't think that he is going to be confused with any road grading blocking fullback, but efficient and then can make some plays kind of like Marc [Edwards] can with the ball in his hands. I think that those two players are, in a lot of ways, similar and from a coach's standpoint that is not a bad situation to have, rather than one guy being all receiver and the other guy being all blocker then that really limits a lot of the things that you are trying to do. The fact that Pass and Edwards both can do similar things, we don't really think about who is in the game, we can do whatever we need to do with either one of them.

Q: What was working so well on your defense, particularly your secondary in the first match up against the Colts?

BB: I think that there were a number of things that were working in our favor. One, the weather conditions limited some of the throws for both sides. I thought our defensive line did a pretty good job on the line of scrimmage. The crowd noise and the difficulty that I think Indianapolis might have had in the audibling probably helped us some, but overall I thought we played pretty good team defense and were physical and were aggressive and we had some good hits. I think that generated a little spark in us.

Q: Some of the things that you mentioned won't be in your favor this time, are there different things you will try to do in your scheme against them?

BB: Well there is nothing we can do about the wind and the sun and all of that. That is just out of our control, but as far as scheme goes it will be the same things it always is against the Colts. It will be playing team defense, Harrison and whether it is [Terrence] Wilkins or [Reggie] Wayne or [Jerome] Pathon or whoever their receivers are, [Marcus] Pollard, they are all factors, [Edgerrin] James, [Peyton] Manning, it is the same cast of characters there. It will have to be good team defense and good balance all the way around. We are going to have to win some match ups inside on the offensive line in both pass rush and the running game. I just don't think you can go into the game and double cover Marvin Harrison and watch somebody else light it up for a 150 yards, which is what's going to happen.

Q: What do you see in Peyton Manning's game in particular that has allowed you to have such success against him?

BB: I think we are hanging on like everybody else is against him. I mean you look at last years game, they moved the ball better probably than anybody did all year in the second game against us out there. Sometimes we make some plays, sometimes they make some, but I feel like a lot of times we are hanging on. I think everybody feels like they are hanging on against that offense. There is just so much talent and they have been together for so long. They are really efficient. Even when you stop them on one play, you are always still worried about the next one. It is still the same 11 guys coming back at you and there are not a lot of weaknesses.

Q: Is that how you explain that you have had probably more success against him than most coaches?

BB: I don't really try to rate my success against anybody else's. We just try to take the team that we are facing and try to deal with them the best that we can. I can just tell you they are hard to deal with. They are tough to stop, they have a lot of weapons, they are well coached, they execute well. Manning does a lot of little things well like his play-action fakes and using the cadence at the line of scrimmage and checking off plays. There are just a lot of little things that he does very well and when it all add ups they are a very powerful offensive machine. You are just hanging on.

Q: I hate to take you back down this road, but he is back on the field and probably a little closer to playing so it is a little more relevant, Drew Bledsoe, when he is 100 percent healthy…

BB: Okay, wait a minute, he is not back on the field and maybe he is one day closer to playing, but that is not anything that is going to happen this week and it probably wouldn't happen next week.

Q: He said yesterday that when he is back at 100 percent that he expects to be the starter, is that accurate?

BB: Well when Drew is back to 100 percent we will deal with that then, but we are a long way away from that now. The next step for Drew is to be able to resume moderate physical activity to heavy physical activity to regaining his skills at the position and being the third quarterback. Those are the next steps in the future. Until they happen I think it is way premature to talk about anything else.

Q: As a philosophy at any position, do you believe that a starter can't lose his job due to injury?

BB: Well I believe what you have to do is play the players that you think will help your team win in the game. There are a million things that can go into that. Whoever the best players are, whoever is most ready to play, those are the guys that are playing. Sometimes a guy at 80 percent is better than another player at 100 percent and sometimes he isn't. It just depends. It depends on the position, the situation, sometimes the game and the way you think the game is going to go as a coach. I can't give you any formula. You play the best players.

Q: It sounds like that is not a hard and fast philosophy for you?

BB: Yeah, I have never laid down any rules…what I tell the players and I have told them this since the day I have gotten here and I will continue to tell them, the best players are going to play. It is not about coaches decisions, coaches decisions are easy. Put them put on the field and let them play, the best guys play more, the guys don't play as well play less. That is the way I feel about it. I am not partial to anybody other than whoever the best guy is. That is who I think deserves to play. But in a situation where an established player is coming back after he has missed some time, you have to wait and see where he is when he is comes back. At what point he is at 50 percent, 60 percent, 70, 80, 90 and so forth down the line. Right now we are way off of that evaluation. We are just trying to get him back on the field.

Q: Based on the comments you made yesterday did you get a sense that Brady was getting a little fat-cat-itis, when you said don't put him in Canton yet, your comments seemed strong for a young kid coming off a good game, did you sense that he needed to be brought down to earth a little bit?

BB: No I don't think he needed it, I think every body else did. I don't think Tom needed it. I went over the film with Tom. Tom made some mistakes in the San Diego game so did some other players. He made a lot of good plays too, but he made some mistakes. I don't think we are ready to retired his number by any means.

Q: How would you describe this division? Is it a black and blue type division or is it more of a finesse division and has it changed in the years that you have coached in this division?

BB: I don't really feel like I can comment very much on Buffalo because I haven't seen them play this year, but I would say with respect to Miami, Indianapolis and the Jets, I don't really see a lot of changes from where those teams were last year. I think that there are a lot of similarities from those teams in 2000 to where they are on 2001. Even though there have been changes, some coaching changes, some coordinator changes, some personnel changes, but when you step back from all of that and just look at the way they play the game maybe the plays are a little bit different or there is a little different guy doing it then before, in the end I think that those teams are playing similarly to the way that they played last year which even in a way carries back from the year before. When you say has it changed, I don't see a dramatic change in those teams even though there have been some modifications, but I think that there are still a lot of the same elements in place.

Q: Is this a division that really beats you up or is it more about the big plays, when you play division games are you a lot more wrecked physically than after a non-division opponent?

BB: I think it is a physical division. I think we have also played some physical games outside of the division. San Diego is, I think, one of the most physical teams in the league. They have a big offensive line, they try to pound the ball, they have a lot of double team blocks and defensively they have a very physical front seven and [Rodney] Harrison, really, put him in there too. they have a real physical defensive football team, period. I don't know that there are a lot of teams, maybe the Raiders or the Ravens or Tennessee, some teams like that that we don't play they may be more physical, I don't know, but I think San Diego, they were a pretty physical football team. Guys like Curtis Martin, Curtis Martin is not a back like Corey Dillon. Corey Dillon is one of the most physical backs in the league and that is his style of play. I don't care if it is against us or whoever they play. That is not Curtis Martin's style. Curtis Martin is not going to take on defensive linemen and run them over. He is going to dodge them in the whole and make them grab for air and make them miss that way. Lamar Smith is more of a Corey Dillon type of a runner. So I really think it varies from team to team. All I am saying is that I think the style of play that the teams have this year, the three teams that I have mentioned, are similar to what the styles they brought last year were and of course in two cases, Indianapolis and Miami, there have been minimal changes. Now I know Indianapolis has five new defensive starters and that kind of thing, but still all that being said, I think a lot of the players that are playing this year are similar in style to some of the players that played last year they are just different people.

Q: I know you mentioned the crowd and the weather, but why hasn't this Colts offense and Peyton Manning owned your defense?

BB: I don't know you would have to ask him that. They owned us last year out there. They must have averaged ten yards a play, I don't know.

Q: Has [Adrian] Klemm done anything in the last few weeks to show that he is starting to get the message of what he needs to do to be a part of the offense?

BB: Yeah, Adrian has definitely made progress the last couple of weeks and last week he was activated as the seventh offensive linemen and really our third tackle. Now his opportunity to play in the game, that is going to be a different story because it will be Greg [Robinson Randall] and Matt [Light] unless something happens. At this point either Klemm is really going to have to make a real strong rise, even stronger than he has made on the practice field or something would have to happen to those two guys

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