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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 11 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 16 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks about the Pats' loss to the Dolphins on Sunday.



BB: My comments on the game today are pretty similar to what they were yesterday. We just got beat by a better football team. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Miami won the game in all three phases. I think the biggest problem though that we had, besides the fact that we were playing a team that played very well yesterday, is that we had made too many mistakes and we were too generous with the football, turning it over. Field position killed us. If you take away the interception that we had at the start of the game by [Mike] Vrabel, we started inside our 20 average field position and they started on their 40. So it was almost 20 yards of field position per series. We just can't play that way. It was a lot different than that last week or it has really been different than that in every game. We just haven't been that far away from the goal line so many times. That is a combination of a lot of things that go into, but the bottom line is that it is just too much to overcome and we weren't able to do it. Taking away some of the major mistakes in the game and the major field position swings, that on a play-by-play basis, that the game was a lot more competitive than the score, but those plays dramatically swung the game and then ultimately the score.

Injury-wise, the doctors are looking at Joe Andruzzi now. I am not sure exactly what the extent of his injury is, but I think it will be a minimum of a couple of weeks, two to three weeks at the minimum. Tedy Bruschi bruised his knee. I am not sure what the extent of that is. We will have to play that day by day. We will know a little bit more later in the week, but it doesn't appear that there is any significant damage there.

I talked to Terry [Glenn] this morning and I talked to him about being back with the team and what he would need to do. Which is basically to demonstrate where his football level is at this point. He hasn't been on the field in two months and I don't have any idea, I don't think any of us have any idea exactly where he is. The only way we will be able to determine that initially is to see him in practice. That is the way we will approach it with Terry. He did, as in training camp we always test the athletes to make sure that they are in condition and he did do that, he did run well this morning. So we are ready to go when we start practice again on Wednesday.

Q: Was it kind of like a man-to-man meeting? How did the meeting go? Was it cordial?

BB: Fine.

Q: What are defenses doing to slow down your passing game? Why are you not able to get it going?

BB: Really what the passing game is, is execution. The passing game is really about execution. The physical part of the passing game comes with the offensive linemen keeping the pocket firm enough and wide enough so the quarterback can throw. There is also a physical part of the passing game for the receivers or tight ends or whoever is involved in terms of getting away from tight coverage or holding on to the ball when they get hit, but the rest of it is execution. It is timing. It is accuracy on the throw. It is precision on the routes. It is the quarterback knowing where the receivers are going to be on different coverages and throwing the ball there. It is the receivers making the break at the proper depth and catching the ball. It is the placement of the receivers so that they are well spaced so that there are throwing lanes so the quarterback doesn't have to throw the ball and then of course it is the protections for the timing of the throws so the quarterback can get back, get set and throw the ball on time and when the receivers are coming out of the break and getting open in the route. That comes down to timing, it comes down to execution and it needs to be precise. Any lack of precision at any of those levels is going to cause you a problem whether it is a route, a throw, pressure, so the quarterback has to hold the ball longer or get rid of it quicker, adjustments that need to be made in the pattern based on blitzes or change of coverage and that type of thing where they come up and press the receiver, techniques like that. Then those all have to be adjusted and the precision still needs to be there. Whatever our shortcomings are in the passing game they have primarily fallen in the precision of the overall passing game, the receivers, the tight ends, the backs, the quarterback, either individually at times or sometimes as they work together in the distribution of the pattern. I can't say that it has been one single thing. It has been a combination of things and it at times been adequate and at other times it hasn't been.

Q: Back to Terry, did you get the roster exemption?

BB: Yeah I assume we did.

Q: Do you have to cut a guy?

BB: I don't think so.

Q: You were saying that Terry has to demonstrate that he is at a football level, are there other things that he has to demonstrate to you non-football related or off the field related?

BB: I think they are almost all football related.

Q: But in terms of the comments he has made and his locker room decorum and behavior and the way he meshes with the team, is that any kind of issue that needs addressing on your part?

BB: I think that all of the things that have gone on from a procedural standpoint and some are continuing and some may come up later on this year or at some other point in time, that are procedural in terms of the things that have happened in training camp, those are going to run their course, whatever they are. There is a way to deal with them and however they are reconciled they are reconciled, that is not really a part of it. There is a system in place to deal with all of that and it will be dealt with. That is not really an issue. We talked about that and I don't think that that is any problem.

Q: So what is his status, is he on the 53-man roster?

BB: No. Well he is, but the league grants a one week exemption for a player coming back in his situation, which there are several players that fall under this category in the league that are coming back this week.

Q: So he is under that one-week exemption?

BB: That is my understanding of it, yeah.

Q: And you are trying to get that extended by a week?

BB: No.

Q: Can you lift the exemption and play him?

BB: Yeah if you use the player in the game then the exemption is lifted and then you would have to make room on the 53-man roster, right.

Q: If you had to categorize right now what Terry's status was for Sunday would you say probable, questionable, doubtful?

BB: I haven't seen him on the field in two months so I really don't know.

Q: Where do you think his head is right now just talking to him? He passed the conditioning test so know where he is physically at a certain level, but did you get any impressions of his willingness or his attitude?

BB: It will be based on what happens this week. There is nothing else to go on.

Q: Did you hear what you wanted to hear this morning?

BB: It is not about hearing, it is about seeing and doing.

Q: Did he give you the impression that he wanted to come in and help this team win football games?

BB: He has made that statement publicly.

Q: Did he reiterate that statement to you today?

BB: That really wasn't the nature of the discussion. The nature of the discussion was moving forward what our plan was, what our expectations were, what needed to be done.

Q: He has also said publicly that people in this organization were out to get him then last week he said that you had been very good to him, who talks to him about his allegations toward the ownership and clears the air?

BB: You would have to ask to him about the exact nature of the comments he made, I don't really know. What I have tried to do with all players is to deal with them directly, not through third and fourth parties. So as much as I can that is what I am going to continue to do. That is the way that I have dealt with Terry other than during times when he wasn't here when I wasn't allowed to talk to him and that is the way I will continue to deal with him.

Q: Does the decision on utilizing Terry solely up to you?

BB: No it is a football decision.

Q: Based on what I saw yesterday the problems with this team go beyond Terry Glenn, he is not going to stop Lamar Smith, what does this team need to do? Tom Brady made comments after the game about preparations during the week, is that something that you noticed as well?

BB: I think what I said after the game is just the way I still feel. I think the team needs to get re-focused this week on San Diego, it needs to get re-energized and we need to fight together and that is what we are going to do. We are going to fight together as a team and we are going to be ready to fight against San Diego. That is really all we can do. I don't think there is any point in talking about the next time we play Miami or that type of thing because those situations are too far removed. Right now the issue is San Diego and the energy and commitment of this team toward playing that game Sunday. I know we are capable of performing at a much better level than we did yesterday and that is what we are going to need to do and it is going to take everybody doing it. It is not one or two players or one or two coaches or putting a saying up on the wall, it is everybody making that commitment and putting the energy into it.

Q: Have you had a chance to form an opinion on [LaDainian] Tomlinson?

BB: I haven't seen a lot of him, I have just run through a couple of their earlier games. He is impressive running the ball. He has got good vision, he's good speed and for his size he breaks tackles and he runs with power. He has got good leg strength.

Q: Has [Richard] Seymour been slowed coming back from his injury?

BB: I think that he was…last week was his first week or last week he was in limited. In the Jet game he had some limited time. The Jet game more as a response to the injury and last week partially because of the no-huddle and the inability to be able to substitute against the Colts limited him. Yesterday I thought he played more, he played well, he played better. I think he will continue to see more time and I think that this is by far his best effort to date yesterday. I thought he was not perfect, but certainly effective in there and we would like to see him play more and I think we will see more of him each week.

Q: Is the timetable for Drew's [Bledsoe] return any clearer at this point?

BB: It is clear in that I think that it is going to extend at least another week or two from now. Drew of course didn't make the trip to Miami with us and he stayed back here. I know today that or that the doctors were going to follow up on kind of a two week…look at him after two weeks which was the original plan. That's why I said initially that it would be at a minimum of two weeks. I am sure what they will do is take a look at him now and see what the next phase is. Which at some point will be some type of physical activity like jogging or Stairmaster or light throwing, whatever it is and then go from there. So I would say that until that takes place, I am sure that period would be a week, ten days, two weeks, whatever it is. So I would say that we are probably looking at two more weeks at a minimum from now.

Q: Did Willie [McGinest] suffer some kind of a setback?

BB: No, actually I think he continued to make progress last week, but wasn't a 100 percent and I just don't think that when we finished practice last week on Thursday and Friday watching him, talking to him, seeing him work that he would be effective at the level he was at. So that is why we inactivated him. We left a number of players here for treatment over the weekend so that they could try to accelerate their return to the team and not take them to Miami with the plane trip and so forth. We just thought we would get more done with them here. So that is why we kept them here.

Q: Are you planning on replacing Andruzzi if he will be out for an extended period of time?

BB: We finished the game with Grey Ruegamer. I thought that he did a decent job filling in there especially considering that he hadn't had a lot of work. Kenyatta [Jones] has also worked there and I think that we will probably work both of those players there and try to get them ready to go.

Q: How is your mindset? How surprised were you with what happened yesterday after the performance in the Indy game especially with so many veterans on defense?

BB: The things that really hurts us in the game were giving Miami a lot of points and a lot of opportunities. We fumbled the ball on the nine-yard line that's three points, lucky it was only three. We fumbled the ball and they recovered in the end zone, that's seven points. So there is ten. We let the ball roll down to the three-yard line and then punt it 20 yards and there is another three points. So that is 13 points. We have a situation at the end of the half where they have no timeouts left and we don't cover the receiver tight enough in the end zone where they are throwing the ball and that is seven points. It probably would have ended up three anyway had the play been missed, but it is a one play, play. Miss that one, kick the field goal. We have another play where we return the ball close to midfield, get a penalty, end up on our own ten yard line, thirty five yard field position swing. So there were four or five real critical plays in the game that resulted in, I would say, close to 20 points, pretty close to 20 points there. Those are big plays that really affected the game and we didn't do very well on any of them. Then on third down, defensively, as much as the running game was a problem and it certainly was a problem, I thought that Lamar [Smith] ran well, I thought that he did a real good job of finding some holes. A lot of times there wasn't a lot there, but I thought that he really did a hell of a job of running the ball. We certainly need to play better, but when you compound the problem by letting them off the hook on third down then they keep running it again and if you can make those plays on third down and get them off the field then that is the end of those running plays and they are over there on the bench. As much as the running game was a problem and as much as the front seven was a problem in the running game, letting them off the hook on third down contributed to that problem along with their field position. I think those were really a lot of the main problems in the game and you can't take those away. Those are part of the game and if we let them happen again we will have the same results again, but that threw the game strongly in their direction and not our favor. Had it been a field goal then it is 13-10 at the half and you are looking at a tight game, but it went down hill from there and there were some significant plays that caused it to go there. That is kind of the way I saw it. I just think that we need to recognize how important those situations are, how important field position is, how important two or three critical plays can be and we need to re-focus our attention and energy on San Diego. Every one of those plays looks like…in some respects I think the game, in some respects it was closer than the score, in other respects I don't think it was as close as the score. Plays like that just totally, for us, going to swing the game out of balance.

Q: Are you surprised with the group of guys that you brought in, with the veterans that you have here that those things were magnified?

BB: Well they weren't done intentionally. I don't think anybody went out there and turned the ball over. I don't think we went out there and intentionally…I mean they had, I don't know, eight or nine penalties, we had just a couple two or three, but they were big ones. We had a fumble and it was a big one. It got kicked back in the end zone and it was recovered for a touchdown. They had a fumble, the ball popped up in the air and came right back in the guy's hands, but maybe if we were a little bit closer we could have punched it out, but those things are part of the game and we have to take care of the football. I don't think it was a lack of attention to it, but I think there needs to be a re-focus and a re-dedication to preventing it from happening in the future, even stronger.

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