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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 changes on the injury report. I think [Willie] McGinest, Redmond, Woody, those guys will probably be game time types of decisions. They are getting better, but if the game were today it would probably be no. But it is not today. We have about 48 hours, so we will make that decision probably a little bit closer to game time.

Drew [Bledsoe] came back yesterday and I spent some time with him out on the practice field and he of course made an appearance back here. He was in the quarterback meeting this morning. Right now the plan is to have him on the sideline during the game. Similar to what he did in some of the preseason games when he came out. That will probably be his role for the game.

**Q: Will he be in uniform?B: Probably not. We can only dress 46 players. 45 plus the third quarterback. So if he is not the third quarterback then we can't dress him.

Q: But clipboard, headset, he can do all of that stuff?

BB: Oh sure, yeah right, but you can only have 46 in uniform.**

BB: Yesterday's announcement, just to follow-up on that, for today with Bruce [Armstrong] being inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. I think that that is a well-deserved honor for Bruce. He has played a very tough position a long time for this organization and I certainly think that he is deserving of that recognition. I have had the opportunity to be with some very good tackles in the course of my career, guys that have played a long time, guys that have played well, but I don't think any of them with the same organization or the same longevity that Bruce has had here. That makes him very unique and again a recognition that I think is well deserved.

Q: In the '90s with the Giants your defense defended against the Bills who ran a no-huddle, the Colts have been operating out of a no-huddle offense what is the toughest part in defending that, substitutions?

BB: I think there are several elements that are hard. Substitution is one, but if they substitute you can substitute. If they don't substitute then you might not be able to substitute, but there probably aren't that many situations where you really need to substitute. You decide how you want to match their personnel and then you go ahead and match it. Sometimes maybe on third and long, maybe if that situation came up you might like to match it, but for the most part I think that the personnel is a factor, but I don't think it is a big overriding factor. I think the big thing is communication and the ability of the offense to see the look that the defense is in because the defense kind of anticipates the play going a little bit quicker, getting the call, getting lined up, getting set, kind of showing what the defense is and then the offense has plenty of opportunity to alter their play based on what the look is. I think the disguise and the communication factor will come into play there defensively, that is a big part of it.

Q: Are the Colts a particularly difficult team to defend in that way because they can do so much with one personnel group because of the versatility?

BB: Yes they do have a good personnel group, no doubt about it. Sure and that is a strength of their offense. The Colts are tough huddle, no-huddle, long huddle, short huddle. They have got a good attack, it is a diverse attack and they have a lot of good skill players to go with it. They present problems no matter how they come out of the huddle. But from our standpoint communication will be an issue, disguise is an issue and to a certain degree substitution may be an issue. Going back to the Buffalo situation that was a similar situation in that they had very good skill players with [James] Lofton, [Andre] Reed, Thurman Thomas, [Jim] Kelly. They had a lot of weapons there too it is the same type of thing. They used three wides instead of the two wide receiver set like the Colts use more of, but the same type of thing. You just have to play real good team defense all the way across the board because they do give you a lot of different problems.

Q: What percentage of time do they use the no-huddle?

BB: They have used it quite a bit. They used it significantly in the second half of the Jets game and then used it early last week against Buffalo. All they have to do is use it on a consistent basis and then you don't know whether they are going to use it all the time or on one series or two series, but you have to be ready for it all of the time. It doesn't matter whether they have used it 30 percent of the time or 70 percent of the time, if they have used it with that kind of frequency then it could be 100 percent of the time.

Q: Do you have to base your defense with that thought process?

BB: Yeah, sure we have to be prepared for it, absolutely. We have to be ready for it all game that they don't do it all game then. That takes you off the hook on some things, but it also…one thing about the no-huddle too is that is also does simplify the game defensively. There are less substitutions, there is one personnel group out there, there is no confusion about who is in the game and who is out. You are not mixing and matching personnel. You are just playing with your one group and it just really comes down to how well your group matches up against theirs.

Q: How is Leonard Meyers progressing? Has he moved up on the depth chart?

BB: I think Leonard is progressing well. I really do. He is probably the best young corner that I have had in awhile, it probably would go back to [Antonio] Langham in '94 who had a pretty good rookie year, but anyway I think he is coming along pretty well. He has got a good feel for the game. He is a good instinctive player and he has picked up our system pretty well. I don't think he is quite ready for primetime yet, but he has done a good job and he has played a number of different spots. He has played inside, he's played outside and he competes well. If he can just become a little more consistent and gain a little more experience, I think he will be all right.

Q: At the same position, Terrance Shaw has he been held back because of his injury?

BB: I think Terrance and Torrance Small are both a little bit in the same boat. First of all they are both new players coming to the team. Even though they are experienced players in the league they are new to the team. They missed a significant amount of training camp, Shaw more than Small, but they both missed a significant amount of time in training camp and that set them back a little bit. It set them back. Other people moved ahead of them at those positions because they weren't out there, but also they just haven't got quite as much time with their teammates, reps in the passing game for Small or communication with the secondary and playing some of the techniques that Shaw has to play back there. It is tough for a corner in our system because we do some things differently then a lot of other teams do at corner. The techniques are different. They have to get used to playing them. Terrell [Buckley] is an example of a guy who had a lot of reps in training camp and it was certainly an adjustment for him. We play differently then Miami's corners play or Denver's for that matter. So that set them both back a little bit. They are starting to come on a little bit now, but they got off to a slow start relative to some other people at that spot.

Q: [Marc] Edwards seems to be a big part of the offense and then he fumbled twice last week, does that diminish his role at all?

BB: I don't think so. I think he is still one of our most consistent players. The plays that happened last week, you don't want them to happen. There is no excuse for…I am not making excuses for him, that they happened. At the same time there were a couple of things involved there. Particularly on the shovel pass. That play wasn't very well executed. He ended up losing the ball and I wish he hadn't, but there were a couple of other things that led to that not being a good play. It just wasn't run very well. The fumble was…again there were a couple of other problems on that play. He should have held onto the ball. He took a hard hit on the ball and lost it. We have to cover it up better. For the most part he hasn't been a guy to put the ball on the ground. He hasn't done it his whole career and he hasn't done it this year. I would like to think that this is not going to be a recurring problem, but we need to eliminate it though. So until we eliminate it, it is a problem.

Q: With his effectiveness running the ball have you ever considered running a one-back set?

BB: There are times when he is there in a one-back set. We have talked about it. The problem you get into is the balance with your running backs. When you are a one-back team then who else are you putting out on the field and what does that provide to you.

Q: Has he been significantly better from the start of training camp to now then any of the other backs in terms of running the ball?

BB: In one respect I would say yes. I think that he has probably had the most consistent…he has done the most consistent job of running the ball. His carries are limited and the type of plays that he runs on are more limited than the regular tailback plays. There are only so many plays you can give the ball to the fullback with the ball real close to the line of scrimmage. You just don't have time to develop different blocking schemes and that type of thing. Basically they are straight ahead type plays with minimal adjustments on the line and that's great and they are good and it is a good change of pace, but it gets hard to just run those plays all of the time, 20-25 times a game. They more compliment what I would call the regular running plays that a tailback runs where you can vary the blocking scheme a little bit, so that you are not always doing quite the same thing. I don't know that Marc's best spot would be at tailback. I really don't think it would be and I think that J.R [Redmond] and Antowain [Smith] are better suited for that position, but I do think as a fullback, with those quick hitting type plays, that they compliment the tailback plays well and I think that Marc is good at them.

Q: How much more time have you spent with the quarterbacks with Drew's absence?

BB: We have maintained our regular schedule this week. I have talked to Tom [Brady] about a couple of things that I think are important for him going into the game, but overall our time allotment has been about the same.

Q: Do you feel that Tom has received the same level of guidance and coaching as he would if there was someone in that quarterback coach position?

BB: Yeah, I think that the time that we are spending with the quarterbacks, because I have talked to him about it, I think that they feel like that they are well-prepared and they are getting good preparation. They understand not only what we are doing, but what our opponent's are doing. We spend time on fundamentals and techniques on a regular basis so that we are not letting those things fall behind either at the expense of the scheme and reads and all those types of things. Yeah, I have spent quite a bit of time talking to all three quarterbacks about making sure that they feel like they are getting all of the things that they need to be well-prepared to go into the game. We have made a couple of adjustments from training camp moving forward into the season to make sure that we address those needs. I am conscious of that and I do feel like we are addressing them and I think that they feel like we are addressing them. So from that standpoint I think that we are all right there.

Q: How about the play-calling have you got any more involved in that?

BB: No. Nope, that hasn't changed, procedurally, yeah.

Q: Have you decided what you will do at the left tackle spot and will Adrian Klemm factor in there?

BB: I don't think that Klemm is going to be a big factor in it this week, no. I think it will probably continue the way it has the first two weeks of the season with [Matt] Light, [Grant] Williams and Greg [Robinson Randall]
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**Q: What do you like about Matt Stevens?B: Matt is a real sharp guy. He is probably one of the smartest guys on the team just intellectually. He is very bright, gets things in a hurry. He is a good communicator and a good decision-maker on the field, which is important for the safety position. He is a good football player. I think he has a lot of strengths. He's tough. He has good speed. He is a good athlete. He is instinctive. He reads plays well and he is aggressive. Sometimes a little over aggressive, but he brings a high level of physical play to the safety position. So along with Lawyer [Milloy] and Tebucky [Jones] I feel like we have three players that are good contact players at that position. They are pretty solid tacklers and can blitz and can play physically in the middle part of the field.

Q: Can he cover fairly well?

BB: Yeah. I think for a safety, yeah, he covers pretty well. Of course he played corner in college and has played a little bit of corner in this league, not a lot, more as an emergency type of situation. But he does play a coverage position for us in the sub-defense. He doesn't play the deep safety, he moves down and covers an inside receiver in our sub-defenses. So he does have above average cover skills for a safety. I certainly wouldn't call it a weak point. I think he is average to maybe a little bit above average for coverage as a safety.

Q: Has Klemm worked at guard?

BB: No Adrian has worked at tackle this week, both tackles.

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