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Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks to the press about the upcoming game against the Panthers in Carolina on Sunday.Full Transcript: coming soon



BB: We don't have anything on the injury report it is still clean. I would say pretty much as expected Carolina had a couple of their special team specialists selected to the Pro Bowl and really you can put [Wesley] Walls in that group too because I am sure that he'll be the deep snapper out there, they just have somebody better than him so that is probably why he doesn't do it for Carolina, [Jason] Kyle is pretty good. Otherwise not a lot at this end. I mean I wish I could write something here for you, but…

Q: Even though I would assume that your relationship with Drew [Bledsoe] is not the greatest at this time, can you talk a little bit about what impact, positive or negative, you think he has had on the team since you made your decision to go with [Tom] Brady?

BB: Well first of all I don't really agree with the statement about our relationship, but I think Drew has prepared himself very professionally week in and week out. We have full confidence in him that he would go in there and do a great job and we have the same confidence in Damon [Huard] and Tom. I think he has gone about it very professionally. I think he's continues to be well respected by everyone on the team, players and coaches. We have confidence in him if he's called upon to play.

Q: Have you ever been in a situation where the quarterback who wasn't playing was a divisive force on the team?

BB: I don't know. You know when you are a defensive coach you usually just try to worry about trying to stop the other guys.

Q: But he could be a divisive force?

BB: No, I mean Drew's never been anything but a hard worker and a well prepared player and a good leader and that is how I knew him when I was here and that is the way he has still been. I couldn't say anything but positives about the way he has gone about his job and his contributions both on and off the field to this organization for quite a number of years.

Q: Do you feel you got shortchanged on the Pro Bowl, more guys that were deserving?

BB: It is always tough. I look through a lot of those names, there are a lot of great players there and it is hard to say that they are not deserving. On the other hand we have had some guys that I think had good years and I am sure they would have been deserving too obviously especially Troy [Brown]. I don't think anybody means more to us than Troy does, but if you look at the other receivers on there they are pretty good too. I think really that the guys that got the awards still see them as what they are which is really very closely related to team awards as well as individual awards and I think that is really a compliment to both Tom and Lawyer [Milloy]. I mean they have both had good years and done a good job, but they have had a lot of people around them that have also done well and ultimately that is why they got the recognition.

Q: Do you subscribe at all to the theory that maybe because you guys didn't have much in the way of primetime exposure that that tends to work against the players on your team that deserve the recognition?

BB: I don't know, I am not really sure. It might have had something to do with it. I really don't know. I mean it had a lot of different groups voting this year. The fans votes, I am not sure about really how the whole thing worked. I know in the past I have been in the room when some of those ballots have been filled in, there have been times when I would say it hasn't lasted more than two minutes.

Q: How did you guys do it?

BB: We did it the Sunday after the Miami game because we had the bye that week and most of the other teams did it at some other point during the week. We did it earlier, they had to send us the stuff earlier because, I think they maybe did it on Wednesday or Thursday of that week when we weren't here. So we talked to the league and had them send us the stuff a little bit earlier. We actually did our voting prior to I think all of the other teams in the league.

Q: Is it a paper ballot?

BB: They did it a little bit differently this year. In the past I think what they did was they had all of the players vote and then that team sent in their voting. In other words we picked this guy as the starting guard and that guy as the starting tight end. Whereas this year I think the way they did it was each player just submitted his ballot and then they just counted them all up. So you could get a case before where a guy could win by one vote or win by 50 votes and it all came out the same.

Q: Does the ballot say Troy Brown or T. Brown?

BB: Yeah maybe we could demand a recount.

Q: Do you think that you or the team can use that positively not getting the respect, no one sees us as what we are?

BB: Maybe a little bit especially for some of the guys, as Mark mentioned, not seeing a lot of primetime opportunities this year. We may get a couple more of those coming up and maybe they can use that as a forum for exposure. I think that is an opportunity for our team to do it as well.

Q: You spoke last week about Ken Walter, what kind of an upgrade do you feel you made at that position when you made that move?

BB: I think Ken's done a real good job for us. I think he has done a good job in terms of his hang time and our net punting when we are backed up from that standpoint, but I think he has just done an outstanding job in the 50 punting and putting the opponents on a long field. Putting them inside the 20 and helping our defense field position wise. I think that both of those areas have been very good and you would be hard pressed to find any team in the league that has done a better job than he has and we have collectively with Je'Rod [Cherry] and Tebucky [Jones] and guys downing balls and having the coverage to go with it. I mean kicking it is part of the game obviously, coverage is tied in their with it, but overall I think that has been one of our real strengths this year, our punting game, our coverage and particularly our 50 punting which in the past has been always, well last year, but even going back because I have talked to Brad [Seely] about it and we have looked back over the last couple of years it really hasn't been as productive as what we would like for it to be.

Q: The self-scouting you did last week, how much time did you spend on the pass defense?

BB: Quite a bit.

Q: You have given up the most first downs in the AFC…

BB: Pass defense and pass offense are both areas that we devoted a lot of time to.

Q: In terms of pass defense, why do you think you give up so many yards? Is speed a big issue?

BB: I think it is overall just the lack of execution of our team defense. Pass rush, pass coverage both man and zone and breakdown and individual techniques as well and obviously some of it has to do with what we call in certain situations. The defense that was called or the way we played it. So I think part of it is strategy, part of it is execution, part of it is pass rush, but I think all of those factors come into play and they all were analyzed and we have tried to take some steps to improve them.

Q: By the same token you have the best red zone defense in the AFC and points allowed you are probably top ten in the league, how do you account for that disparity?

BB: I would say better execution and it is a little bit easier to play pass defense when you have less field to defend and the pass rush doesn't become as much of an issue because the ball has to come out pretty quick anyway they can't stretch the field. I would say that those would be the main reason.

Q: Do you see [Ted] Johnson and [Bryan] Cox playing more this week?

BB: Well we have Ted and Bryan and Tedy [Bruschi], they all are involved in the game plan and they all take turns defensively. A little bit of how much their playing time is depends on to a certain extent a little bit of the situation in the game. For example last week against Miami we played a lot of nickel and dime defenses in the third and fourth quarter because of the game situation. Had the game gone differently they would have seen a lot more playing time because they are not very heavily involved in those situational defenses. To answer your question I would say that how much they played last week was a little bit reflective more of the score then our desire to play them. Had it been a normal game they would have played more. If this is a normal game then I think, yeah, they will get more playing time. If it becomes more of a running game and field position game and that kind of thing then I am sure that they will be in there.

Q: Is the fact that your team is so healthy make it hard for a late arrival like Chris Sullivan to get on the field?

BB: It does, sure it does. We had games this year where we bring guys in or bring them up from the practice squad and they would be playing very quickly just because of our depth in those particular weeks. Now we have players that are going to be inactive that a) are physically healthy enough to play and b) if we are able to take 51 players the game or 50 or whatever it was we would be playing them in the game because they could play situationally. Unfortunately we can't do that. Yeah that is definitely the case

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