New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, September 16, 2009.
BB: Well, we have a quick turnaround here this week. Back in the division, down to the Jets - a big division game on the road. We've got a lot to get ready for in a short week. I think last week's game against Houston, for the Jets, was probably about as good a way as you could start the season. I think that's kind of the way we would all hope to start it, not giving up any points on defense, having 400 and whatever yards it was on offense, playing good in the kicking game - just a real solid performance. So you say it's awhile before teams are in midseason form, but it looks like the Jets are pretty close to being there already, a real impressive win for them. The Texans are a good football team. They made them look bad. We know we've got our work cut out for us in all three phases of the game. They have a lot of good players. They have a good scheme on all three sides and all three phases - both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. A lot of scheme things to prepare for and a lot of outstanding players in all three phases, so we're expecting a tough division matchup. Hopefully, we can play better against them than we did the last time.
Q: What's the biggest adjustment in a short week?
BB: You just have to cram it in a little bit. It all gets done; It just gets compressed a little bit.
Q: What were your impressions of Mark Sanchez?
BB: He's been good. He's got a good arm, athletic guy. [He's] getting the ball to all his receivers. He seems to manage the team well. They run check-with-mes and a lot of different personnel groups and all that. [Brian] Schottenheimer's offense is a pretty sophisticated one and he looks pretty comfortable handling it. He's done a good job.
Q: We hear how the system from Baltimore has been brought to New York. What are some of the things the Jets do differently?
BB: Well, it's all tied together and I think when you look at Baltimore's defense and the Jets defense you see a lot of similarities, what the players are asked to do relative to the players in Baltimore, and you can kind of see how they fit those different guys into the roles that Rex [Ryan] had down there in Baltimore. The system is different. The way it all ties together is different. The roles of the players, in a lot of respects, are different. It's just a different system.
Q: What is it about the way they blitz that makes them effective?
BB: They run a lot of overload blitzes. They try to bring a lot of people from one place [to] where you can't get enough blockers over there, basically, is what it comes down to. They do a lot of different things. I don't want to simplify it. It's not like they run 30 of those a game. They do a lot of things. They pressure. They cover. They protect the deep part of the field and they'll bring the house. A lot of times they overload it, put a lot of guys in one place, and it's hard for you to get enough people over there to block them.
Q: What percentage of the time, if you can estimate it, did they blitz last week against the Texans?
BB: Oh, I don't know. It depends on the situation. Certainly, if they get you in long yardage you're going to see a lot more pressure than if you're not. The more you're in long yardage, the more you're going to see some kind of pressure. Sometimes they do it and they only bring four, but it looks like they are bringing more than four.
Q: What can you do schematically to combat that?
BB: We're just going to go down there and try our best.
Q: When a player changes teams and then plays against his former team, a lot of people assume that he's giving his new team inside knowledge and that's going to make a big difference. Is that an overrated aspect of the game or is there some truth to that?
BB: I'd say it's probably overrated. Certainly, you could pick up - from somebody who's been in the system for a long time - something that would be helpful. Probably some of that information, especially with teams like this that are in the same division, that have played each other for quite awhile, that know each other quite well, I don't know how much new information there really is coming out of there in something like that. In the end, the game comes down to the players on the field and the team that plays the best and the players that play the best. That's the team that's going to do better. I think you can kind of X and O it, yeah, you know what they read on this play, if they even run that play, but whatever it is you still have to execute it. Whatever plays we run, we've got to execute. Whatever plays they run, they've got to execute and that's what it will come down to is how the players execute them.
Q: You talked about streamlining Tully Banta-Cain's role. Have you seen a benefit of that?
BB: I think Tully's worked real hard. He's been here since the beginning of the offseason program. He's had a real good spring both on and off the field, in the classroom and from a technique standpoint, his training and conditioning. I think that showed up all training camp and it certainly showed up in last week's game with the plays he made at the end of the game in the fourth quarter when we needed him the most. I think he's done a good job with being ready to play and improving on his overall pass rush techniques and repertoire there, and he's had good production on it, not just in the Buffalo game, but in practice and the preseason.
Q: How well do you know Rex Ryan and is there a mutual respect there?
BB: I have a lot of respect for him and his football team, what they did in Baltimore and what he's done at the Jets.
Q: He's new at the Jets, but are the defense and the blitzes new, too?
BB: Absolutely. Take everything he did in Baltimore, white out Baltimore and write New York Jets and that's what you got.
Q: What kind of impact has Bart Scott had?
BB: It looks like he's brought, certainly, a presence to the defense. I'm sure he knows exactly what they're doing, probably better than most all the other players that are there. There're a couple other guys that [Rex] Ryan brought with him from Baltimore. He knows the calls, knows the adjustments. A lot of times it's important for the player to understand how and why a certain defense or a certain adjustments apply. You have it to solve a certain problem and if you don't get that problem, it isn't really that good of an adjustment. But against a particular thing it's what you want to do, so not just understanding what the calls are or what the adjustments are, but when to apply, when to use them, when you want to use them, when you don't want to use them, that kind of thing. I'm sure there're a lot of little things - experience like that is valuable and all that happens out on the field. There's only so much you can call from the sideline when you have players out there that can run, with [Bart] Scott there at the front seven level and [Jim] Leonhard in the secondary. I'm sure those guys help that process. They have a lot of the good players that just go out there and play well, too - [David] Harris and [Darrelle] Revis, [Kerry] Rhodes and all those guys. It's not just about that. I'm sure that helps implement the overall system.
Q: Rex Ryan created a bit of a stir when he said he didn't go to the Jets to kiss Bill Belichick's rings. How do you react to something like that?
BB: Yeah, well we're trying to get ready for the game Sunday. We've got a lot of work to do and that's what we're doing. We're putting our time and energy and effort into going down there and playing well against a team that probably had the best game of the week last week against Houston. Of all the teams opening day, I don't think anybody could have played better than the Jets did. That's what we're trying to do. That's what I'm trying to do: prepare our team to go down there and play well.
Q: Can remarks like that by a player or a coach serve as motivation for a team or is there enough motivation going against a division rival?
BB: I think there's always a good rivalry here between the Jets and the Patriots. There has been through the years and I think there will continue to be this year and into the future. We're in the same division. We know the whole Boston, New York rivalry thing. It's there in every sport. It's certainly there in this sport and I think that's plenty.
Q: [On Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes]
BB: Well, you know, they are outstanding players and they do a lot of different things. They can cover man-to-man. They can cover zone. They can do a lot of different things. They're good tacklers, instinctive players. I think they help them in whatever play they call.
Q: What did you see in Revis' matchup with Andre Johnson on Sunday that made him so successful?
BB: Well, I think it was good team defense. I mean Revis did a good job on him - don't get me wrong - but I think as a defense, the Jets defense played extremely well. They shut down a lot of things. They got pressure on the quarterback. They shut down the running game. Revis did a good job, Rhodes did a good job. They played a lot of short and deep coverage on them, but they covered the other guys, too. There was no one-man band out there. They played good as a team and that's what defense is. There're 11 guys playing good, not one or two.
Q: It looks like Kris Jenkins can take over a game at times…
BB: Well, he's a major force in there both on defense and on the field goal rush. He's had a lot of production there, too, absolutely. He's back there in the backfield. He's going to ruin the game, I don't care what play you got called. You've got to take care of him on the front, and they have a good front and he's right there in the middle of it. He's a very disruptive guy.
Q: It's also been said that the Jets as a whole are treating this game as if it's their Super Bowl. Is it a little early for that type of talk?
BB: We know it's going to be a tough game. They've got their home opener. They've got a good football team. They're playing with a lot of confidence. We're going to have to play our best down there and we know that. I'm sure they will be ready to go. It looked like they were ready to go last week, I'm sure they will be ready to go this week, too.
Q: How much of a challenge is it to prepare for rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez?
BB: You've got to prepare for each quarterback every week. Sanchez has got his [things], the things that he does, that he does well and there're quite a few of those. Like we saw last week and every week, we're going to see a quarterback. Everybody that plays quarterback in this league is talented or they wouldn't be playing it. Sanchez is athletic. He's got a good arm; he can make all the throws. He's playing with a lot of confidence. He's getting the ball to all the receivers. We've seen [Chansi] Stuckey and [Jerricho] Cotchery, [Dustin] Keller, certainly [Leon] Washington - all those guys are showing up, making big plays, so they're doing a good job. He's handling the offense well. I think we're going to have to play good team defense and defend everything that they do: run it, throw it, catch it, formations. They have a good repertoire of plays, good skill players and a good offensive line and they're all back. It's an experienced group, too. They know what they're doing and they do a lot of things; they do them well.
Q: How valuable is Jerod Mayo and how confident are you in everybody else's ability to pick up the slack should he not be available?
BB: We have confidence in all our players. That's why they're on the team. Whoever's called on, whatever we ask them to do, we think they'll be able to do it or they wouldn't be here. I'm sure everybody's going to work hard and be prepared to be ready to go and do the best they can Sunday and whoever gets called on to do whatever it is, I hope they'll be prepared. I hope they'll perform well. A lot of times you never know exactly what those roles are going to be.
Q: How valuable is Jerod Mayo?
BB: Jerod's a good player. He does a lot of things for us. He's right in the middle of the defense. He's right in the middle of every play, run or pass. He's right there. He calls the signals. If it's a running play, he's right in the middle of running play. If it's a pass play, he's right in the middle of pass defense. I don't know how you can be any more involved than that.
Q: Did Gary Guyton call the signals after Jerod Mayo went out?
BB: Well, last week we were in a no-huddle situation, so with them being on the line, we had to get them to everybody. I don't think you want to bring your corners back into the huddle while there're receivers standing out there, you know, 30 yards away from the ball, so you have to do it all visually or else give up a lot of alignment issues when you're in and out of the huddle. So it was a little bit of a different deal last week against Buffalo.
Q: With Jerod Mayo out, who gets the green dot?
BB: We'll make those decisions when we get to the game here.
Q: [On Adalius Thomas's pass rush]
BB: I think Adalius is a versatile player. We knew that when we watched him play in Baltimore and since he's been here. He does a lot of things. He provides a lot of versatility. I think that's one of his strengths as a linebacker and that's what we ask him to do. He rushes. He covers. He plays inside. He plays outside. He's versatile, flexible enough to move around and do those things well, so that helps the overall scheme of the defense. It also helps other players - put them at some positions or be flexible with them. It gives the offense a couple different things to worry about.
Q: Is the time of possession a relevant stat?
BB: Well, I think every stat has some degree of relevance, but it's certainly not as important as points. It's not as important as third down or red area. But yeah, you want to have the ball; but if you score on a long play, I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that's a good thing. So you don't have much time of possession, but you score on a long play, you have seven points. You can take, really, all the stats you want, but in the end it comes down to points allowed and points given up. That's why we're playing the game. The next most important stat is red area and the next most important stat after that is turnovers and that's possession, so once you get in all the rest of them you can find good ones and bad ones and they could be offset by others things. But if you're scoring points you are probably winning and if you're giving them up that's not good, and if you're not giving them up you are probably winning. All the rest of it - you can do whatever you want with those stats, but points is the name of the game.
Q: Is 50 throws the idea for Tom Brady? Is that going to change next week?
BB: We'll do whatever we feel like we need to do to win the game. Whatever we feel like is the best thing to do, whether it's throw the ball, run the ball, blitz, cover, play a five-man line, play a two-man line, play five receivers, play four tight ends, whatever we think is the best thing to do, that's what we're going to do. We'll do that every week. There is no set formula [of] we're going to do this, we're going to do that. We'll do whatever we think we need to do to win.
Q: Do you have any time table on Jerod Mayo's return?
BB: We will put out the practice report this afternoon. I know you're waiting for that.