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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 Pats' win over the Colts on Sunday.To read a full transcript click on the Full Article button below.



BB: After looking at the tapes this morning it will be real hard for me to single out any single individual for the game yesterday. I thought it was a real solid team effort. I thought the offense, defense and special teams complimented each other through the game. That each side made it a little bit easier for the other phase to do their job. I think that is a good way to play and a way that we need to play more frequently. Marty [Moore] hurt his Achilles on the last play of the game, I am sure you saw it there, he is going to have surgery today so he will be out for the rest of the season. I think the other injuries are more of the bumps and bruises type. Nothing at this point that looks like it is real serious, but we will monitor it as we go through the week. I think the guys that didn't play in the game like [J.R.] Redmond, guys like that are making progress and will have a better shot this week.

Q: Is Matt Stevens injury serious?

BB: He got hit on the knee. I don't have any more information. I don't think it is anything…it is not a major injury let's put it that way.

Q: Will you make a roster move in the [Marty] Moore situation?

BB: Well we might. We just started talking about that a little bit this morning. I think we will really have to take stock of the situation there. Who would be the most productive player that we could put on the team. Special teams would certainly be a major consideration. Maybe more so than linebacker, not that linebacker isn't a consideration, but special teams may be the overriding factor there. I don't have any plans to do it right now, but it is certainly a possibility.

Q: After watching the film is there anything to add regarding Tom Brady, maybe something that you didn't see yesterday that you saw this morning?

BB: I think it was pretty much what I saw in the game. Tom did a lot of things real well. I thought he made, for the most part, good decisions in the game. I thought he managed the game well and handled the team well. He handled some situations, for example the situation at the end of the half, moving the team into field goal range. Handling a low snap on the shotgun on a simple running play, things like that. I thought he did a good job. It wasn't perfect. There were a couple of things he could have done better, but overall for the first league start, I thought he did a pretty solid job. I was disappointed, as I know he was, that we started out both halves with short three and series. I think overall he did a real solid job, took care of himself well and handled the team well. He didn't have any major errors and had some good positive plays that certainly contributed to the win.

Q: Does [Bryan] Cox get his head of steam on own his own or do you egg him on?

BB: Maybe a little bit of both. Bryan has played these division games now for a few years, two different teams, so he knows the competition as well as they know him. I think it is always a little bit…it is always heightened a little bit with somebody that you play twice a year, somebody that you are real familiar with and they are familiar with you.

Q: You have been around here a few years now and you know how it works around here with the media and the fans, there will be a lot of [Tom] Brady versus [Drew] Bledsoe talk. Can you unequivocally say right now that when Bledsoe is ready he steps back in no questions asked?

BB: Drew is not playing this week and he probably won't be playing next week. Right now we are trying to get ready for Miami they are a good football team and Tom will be the quarterback in Miami. That's it, there is nothing else to talk about.

Q: But beyond that when Bledsoe is ready Bledsoe plays right?

BB: That's not really the question. I don't know how he is going to be when he comes back or when that is going to happen. We will take care of that when it happens. Right now we are looking at Miami and we are going to go forward with Tom at quarterback, just like we did this week against Indianapolis. There are a whole lot of hypotheticals. There are other guys that are going to be coming back in the next week or two and there really isn't much to talk about with them either until they are ready to do anything.

Q: A few weeks ago Kevin Faulk wasn't on the active 45-man roster, did he do things to change your opinion yesterday?

BB: I thought Kevin gave us a lift yesterday. He made a couple of plays that we have seen him make before. He did some nice things with the ball in his hands on the screen pass. He made a nice cutback run, kickoff return and those are the kind of things that Kevin can do. He is a good change of pace player and if he can continue to be productive like he was yesterday he will certainly get more opportunities. I thought he took care of the ball well and those are things that are important.

Q: Bryan Cox said that he didn't feel that he played as well yesterday as he did in the Jets game, is that really accurate?

BB: When you look at a game like this a lot of times the fans' perspective is everybody played a great game, everybody played a perfect game, there were no errors in the game and you look at the Jet game and you think that everything went wrong, there was nothing good in the game and everything was a mistake, everything was a missed opportunity and all of that. I think it falls somewhere in between obviously. There were a lot of positive things particularly defensively that we did against the Jets, not enough to win. There were some things that we didn't do real well defensively and it didn't hurt us yesterday, but if we continue to make those errors eventually it will be a problem. The Colts dropped a couple of balls. A couple of times the receivers should have been covered better. I think Bryan made some plays yesterday, like he did in the Jets. There were some things that we could have done better on the defense, no question about it. I don't know what the grade is this week versus the grade last week, the biggest thing that we are focused on is correcting the errors that we made. Making sure everybody understands what needs to be done and how it needs to be done properly and to try to get that done.

Q: Even if the team falters this week, was this game an important touchstone for you that you can't point to this game and say look this is what happens if we play like this, this is what happens?

BB: Yeah exactly and we have talked about that, we talked about it all week. Just the fact that if we just did the positive things that we did in the Cincinnati game or the Jets game or in some of the preseason games, if we would just do those positive things on a more frequent basis and be more consistent doing them the results would be different. I think that is what happened yesterday. The grade wasn't 10 at the Jets and 99 yesterday, it was a lot closer than that. We did more things more consistently and it made a difference. Hopefully next week we will be able to add to it a little bit, but I think, especially defensively, the biggest thing about yesterday's game was just the team defense and the overall effort of the team. We had two scores on defense where we returned interceptions for touchdowns, but there is no way that would have been possible, especially the way those two guys were running, without a lot of blocking. We had a lot of guys hustle to get over in position to makes blocks. Those guys had as much to do with the scoring as the guys who intercepted the pass and crisscrossed back and forth across the field a couple of times. On a play like that the guy who gets the glory is the guy that is in the end zone and he deserves it, but there were several other people that contributed to making those plays that won't get the recognition for it other than the film room or from their teammates, but those plays wouldn't have been made without them.

Q: Who is the guy that blocked [Peyton] Manning?

BB: Brandon Mitchell.

Q: He carried him down the field a long way?

BB: Yeah he stayed with him for awhile. Manning looked liked he was trying to give some ground and play for time and actually there were a couple of linemen coming over that might have had a shot at him and then Otis cut it back. Ty [Law] threw a good block on that play, Tebucky [Jones] came over and got the intended receiver and knocked him out of bounds after Otis made the catch. Ted Johnson, we had a lot of guys hustling and making blocks, just getting in the running lanes forcing guys to avoid them and go beyond them or go around them and that gave Otis the seam to really get it started. The same thing on Ty's interception, guys hustling to block people actually so that the Colt linemen weren't able to come in there and tag him down. We had a couple of blocks while he was stumbling around there so that he could fall down and get back up again and got a couple of guys blocked where they couldn't tag him.

Q: It is often said that games are won up front with the offensive and defensive lines, did you expect to dominate the Colts on both sides of the ball?

BB: I thought we got good efforts off both sides of the ball. I think our offensive line has been improving. We have been able to keep a more consistent group on the field now. We have gotten a couple of games out of [Matt] Light, we have gotten a couple of games out of [Mike] Compton and they are starting to work together. This is two weeks in a row that the quarterback hasn't been sacked with the offensive line. The problems came somewhere else so that is movement in the right direction. We will have a real challenge this week with Miami's front four they are very good. I don't know whether we will be able to have those results or not, but we need to keep playing better and I think there are signs that the offensive line is being a more cohesive unit. Certainly had some plays in the running game where we had some combination blocks and were able to get up on linebackers and that kind of thing. The more that they can work together and function as a unit and the running backs can work consistently with them I think that we should continue to improve if we keep working hard at it.

Q: And the defensive line as far as shutting down Edgerrin James?

BB: Well the best way to shut down James is to get ahead in the game and make them throw all the time. The carries then go down significantly when they are trying to throw it to get back into it. The score had something to do with it, but I thought, again, it was a team defensive effort. The outside linebackers, the corners made a couple of good plays on run force and then the inside guys did a pretty good job too. It was a pretty solid effort up front. It was just good team defense. I just can't sit here and say, 'Well boy this guy really played great. He is the one who had the most to do with our success on defense.' It took 13 or 14 guys to really make that a solid effort.

Q: In your mind has the defense reached a new standard and level that you should be able to maintain?

BB: I think they have played much better the last two weeks against the Jets and against Indianapolis. It is more cohesive, it was better team defense, but the key to any defensive effort, the number one key is well there are two things: 1) being able to control the line of scrimmage and 2) tackling. If you are in a position to make a play and don't make the tackle then it is not a play, it's not finished, it doesn't make any difference. That happened several times in the Cincinnati game where we had runners hemmed in and you look at the play and think that they are going to lose yardage on this play and the guy ends up making two or three or four or five yards because of missed tackles. That overrides everything. Tackling is…that's the number one thing on defense. If you can't get them down then it doesn't make any difference. Being able to control the line of scrimmage, not getting pushed around in the running game and be able to at least move the pocket towards the quarterback and force the quarterback to throw on rhythm and not be able to sit back there all day. Those two things are critical every week. So if you can do those things then you have a chance. No matter how well we go out and execute a scheme or design a defense or a hustle or anything else, if we don't finish the plays and make tackles then it will look bad. Any defense will look bad with bad tackling.

Q: Do you and Charlie [Weis] script the plays for the week?

BB: Well we prioritize them. Yeah we definitely prioritize them. When we go into the game we talk about these are the top plays that we want to run in these situations. First time we get into the red area we want to do this or that. First time we get third and ten it will be this. First time it is third and three it will be something else. Sometimes that varies a little bit, like yesterday we had some wind conditions that might have effected the play-calling, I would say that it did effect the play-calling a little bit because we were going against the wind in the first quarter so a couple of the plays that we might have called if it were just a normal day we delayed until the second quarter. But we definitely tried to prioritize the plays, but we do that in all phases of the game. We do it on defense, we do it on special teams too. When a player goes to the game on Sunday he should know that the first time we get a punt return in the plus 50 here is what we are going to do. The first time we have them backed up here is what punt return we are going to run. First time we return a kickoff here is the return. It is going to be left return or whatever it is. So that they can in their mind…because there is going to be no new information. They are not going to kickoff before the first one, whenever it is, that is when it is and that's what we are going to do. Then once we see it then we talk about, 'Well these are potentially the adjustments we might need to make.' Either we are going to run it and do this or they are kicking away from us do we run it the other way or whatever it happens to be.

Q: The reason I asked is because it seemed like a very hot day play calling. Did Charlie and/or the offensive staff have a good day?

BB: I think the coaches did a great job this week. I think the assistant coaches did a great job. They had the team ready to play. I thought that the team played with good emotion, with good intensity and I thought they were situationally aware. Again, for example at the end of the first half, defensively we got a stop, made a play on a punt return, ran some plays on offense, kicked a field goal. We had to do a lot of things right there consecutively just to be able to score three points. I think they were well prepared. I think the coaches had a good game plan and I think that the players were ready to play. We had a lot of players step up and make big plays yesterday. It wasn't just one or two guys it was a lot of players that stepped up and made big plays in the game to help us win.

Q: Any firmer idea on how long Drew will be out?

BB: I'll stay where I was last week. I don't have anything to add to that. There would be a minimum and then I don't know how long it will be beyond that.

Q: How about bringing in a third quarterback?

BB: We are going to stand pat on that for right now too. We got through yesterday's game without any problems at the quarterback position so I think we are at least as prepared as we were this coming week as we were last week. My guess would be that by the end of this week we would have a pretty good idea of a better timeframe of what we are talking about with Drew.

Q: Bert [Emanuel] being the third guy, do you have to take him out of receiver packages?

BB: If Bert is the third quarterback he can only play quarterback in that game. That is the only position the third quarterback can play, well he can punt and hold and things like that, but he can't play receiver in the fourth quarter, he can only play quarterback.

Q: Can he play quarterback if he is not the third quarterback?

BB: Anybody can play quarterback. Any of the 45 players can play any position they want whenever they want to play it. So once you have got your 45 guys out there if we want to put [Joe] Andruzzi at quarterback we can do that. But whoever you designate as the third quarterback, the 46th player, can only play quarterback and that could be Andruzzi too, if we want to make it him, but he could only play quarterback. We couldn't use him at any other position.

Q: You mentioned that you couldn't single out anybody because a lot of guys contributed to the win yesterday, but it seemed like a lot of the catalysts yesterday Cox, Smith, [Roman] Phifer, [Bobby] Hamilton, [Anthony] Pleasant are all ex-Jets who played when you were there. Is that just a coincidence or did you maybe say anything that spoke to them a little more?

BB: I would have to say it was just a coincidence. There was nothing directed particularly at that group of players. Ty Law made big plays in the game, Matt Stevens, you can go right down the line…

Q: Right and all of those players did too and they also happen to be ex-Jets and people that played with you at other places?

BB: Again it was nothing specifically directed at that group. It was more towards the entire team and the response of the team rather than those particular individuals.

Q: I am sure you have been in this position many times where you have a good thing going and you want to carry it over into the next game, how do you do that? Is there a new theme this week?

BB: I think the biggest thing that we can do this week is learn from what happened. We went in and played, I think we played this game differently than we played the previous two and I think the results were different and I think we need to approach it the same way. We put a lot of energy and a lot of effort into that game yesterday so it will take some time and some energy to rebuild that to fill up the gas tank as we say. We are emptying out, we have got to fill it back up and we need it full on Sunday and that is a full week process. It's coming in Wednesday getting the scouting report, getting the game plan, practicing, third down on Thursday, red area and goal line on Friday, right on down the line. It is all of those things and that is a process that leads right up to the game and the goal this week will be to do it with the same type of energy, confidence and commitment and then play as physically this week as we played against Indianapolis. It is no one-day process, it is a build up through the entire week. If there was anyway we could just get ready for a game Friday morning and pull it all together in a couple of hours that would be the way to do it, but there are just too many things that come up and take too much preparation. It is really quite a process, but that will be the theme for the team this week. I can't imagine that there are any players that didn't recognize the difference between this week and the previous week and if we can do it this way how much better our chances will be. Again I still would temper that by saying you guys may think it was a perfect game yesterday, but it wasn't. There were still some things that we need to fix.

Q: What was the difference yesterday in stopping [Jerome] Pathon and [Marvin] Harrison as compared to the first game against Cincinnati and their offense?

BB: I think in a lot of ways that those offenses are similar. Both Cincinnati and the Colts have big time runners and their passing game design is a little bit different, but outstanding wide receivers, a good group of tight ends, so it is a similar type challenge and some if it is rolling the dice. You can't put eight guys up there in the front to stop the runner and still play with four or five back there to cover the passes. You just don't have enough guys. So sometimes you have to try to mix and match and put your bet on something. Sometimes you hit it right. Sometimes you are a little softer in one place than another. But again, I think going back to the Cincinnati game one of the big things in that game was still tackling. There were a lot of times in that game that we were in position for the plays to turn out better than they did and whether you want to give them credit for breaking the tackles or give us the blame for missing them or maybe it is a combination of both, but there were a lot of plays in that game that shouldn't have ended up with as much yardage as they did had we done a better job of getting the guy on the ground.

Q: But yesterday you kept the ball out of Marvin Harrison's hands, did you take more chances in the secondary?

BB: No, I don't think so. I don't think so. I think Ty was matched up on him. Ty did a good job, no question about that. He did a good job on him. Again there were a lot of things working in our favor in the game yesterday. When you have a 20 point lead at halftime you don't have to defense as many things as you have to defend when you are down by 10 in the third quarter. The game starts to tilt one way or other and there are less things to defend and I think that always makes it easier.

Q: The defense slowed down the no-huddle of the Colts with a lot of movement did you sense that was confusing Manning, they had to check off a lot of their plays?

BB: I probably should have mentioned this yesterday, but one of the factors in the game was definitely the crowd. That was a loud crowd and I think that just by looking at the tapes I think that they had an effect on the game. A couple of times guys from the Colts were a little late off the count. A couple of times it didn't look quite like the pattern was supposed to look and so maybe somebody didn't hear it. I think it maybe had a little bit of…I don't know whether it was an unsettling effect on them or it pumped a little energy into us, maybe a combination of both, but I thought the crowd was a real big factor in the game. Anytime a team does as much audibling as the Colts do, all that noise, it makes it harder. You can still do it, but it definitely makes it harder. You have to work harder at it and that is just a little more energy that you can expend working on something else. That might have been as loud as I have heard it here in two years.


BB: I know from being on the other side of it and playing in Indianapolis or playing on the road, when you do try to audible it is a lot harder. You can still do it, but you have to put a lot more effort into it. As I said all week clearly one of the keys to playing the Colts is that you have to mix it up. You just can't play the same thing against Manning every down or he will eventually kill you. So we did try to mix it up and the players tried to disguise things a little bit. There isn't much that he hasn't seen. I am not saying that he didn't figure it out, but defensively that is what you try to do with him, or one thing you try to do just to keep him off balance and give him some different looks. So that is part of the players moving around to try to make him take a little bit longer or maybe have a little bit of indecision on what to do.

Q: Is Matt Light playing pretty well for a rookie or is that too much praise?

BB: Yeah let's not put the statue up there yet. I think he has done some good things. I think there are some other things that aren't all that great, but I think he has done some good things. I think he has shown some improvement in the last three weeks. If he will keep working hard or work a little bit harder, I should say, if he will work a little bit harder and prepare a little bit harder and really understand not only what we are trying to do, but understand what they opponents are trying that he is playing against then I think he will continue to improve even more and that will be good for both of us, both him and the team.

Q: Does [Adrian] Klemm's path to the starting lineup get a little more difficult now not only because of the way Light and [Greg] Robinson Randall are playing, but also because of the way that the five have worked together?

BB: I think that Klemm's situation is up to Klemm. Really I would say that that is pretty much true for every player. Nobody can go out there and block for him, nobody can go out there and pass protect for him, nobody can go out there and know his assignments for him that is up to him. We practiced last week, we are going to practice again this week, we will be practicing again next week and the other people are ahead of him, for whatever the circumstances are they are ahead of him, injuries and reps and preseason and all of this and that or whatever it is. Sometimes you get opportunities by default, but short of that he is going to have to go out there and change it. If he can do that then he can change it for the better and if he can't then it will be what it is, which right now is that he is not in the mix.

Q: Have you or one of the assistant coaches told him that?

BB: We try to tell the players everything that we think effects them. So yeah more than once.

Q: Is J.R. in the same boat?

BB: I think J.R. physically is doing better than he was. He progresses all last week through the week. I just felt like at the game that he was going to be less than 100 percent. He might have been able to play. I don't know how effective he would have been. We elected to inactivate him. With a couple more days here I am sure that he will be further ahead and we will see where he is on Wednesday.

Q: Do you have any concern with him at all?

BB: Anytime a player is not a 100 percent you have to be concerned about what the players performance is going to be and then how effective he will be. That's why practice is so important for him to be able to get out there, him and everybody else, to be able to get out there and be able to show that this is what he can do so we can see it. As a coach you can bring up any name and then connecting that players performance to that name is only a concept until you actually as a coach see the player perform at that level. When a guy is coming back form injury or he has missed some time for whatever the reasons are that he's missed it, until you as a coach see the player perform at that level then that performance and that players name don't really go hand in hand until he is able to establish that. Anytime a player is out then he needs to come back and re-establish it.

Q: Last year you had to mix and match with your offensive line all the time, the last two weeks you have had the same guys and coaches are reluctant to fiddle with that when things are going well, it has got to be harder for Klemm or anyone else to get into that unit now, would you say that that is fair statement?

BB: I'd really say it is up to Klemm. If somebody can go out and show that they are that much better than whoever else is in there, I wouldn't hesitate to play them, but they are going to have to show that. We can't just talk about it. We can't do it without seeing it. I am not saying we would make a full move, but certainly we could rotate players in there or give them some snaps and sometimes that helps your team. It is not necessarily a detriment and Adrian does have some flexibility. He can play a couple of different positions, but he is going to have to go out there and establish it, that's up to him.

Q: You said that the last two weeks the offensive line gave up no sacks?

BB: The last two weeks none of the sacks have come on the offensive line it has been at another position where we have gotten the sack.

Q: Doesn't that say an awful lot as far as making progress?

BB: Yeah and I think we faced a couple of good rushers, but we are going to face a lot more this week and we are going to be on the road. Crowd noise will be an issue and the snap count and all of that, I think that this group is still going to have to prove its' consistency under more adverse conditions. Again, playing on the road against a good front four like Miami has. So that will be a real challenge for us. We saw quite a bit of blitzing yesterday, we saw quite a bit of blitzing against Cincinnati. I thought overall our blitz pickup was better, but one of the things that helped us yesterday was being in control of the game. At least by the half anyway and we could pretty much call whatever we wanted to call. It wasn't like we had to go back and throw every down. We are still going to have to show as an offensive line that we can pass block under pressure and that we can run the ball consistently. There were some signs yesterday, but that's something that we are still going to have to show that we can do over consecutive games.

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