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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Mon Apr 19 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

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BB: Well I am sure that you noticed that today's practice was quite a contrast to yesterday when we didn't have the pads on. Today was by far our heaviest day of contact for the camp. We've kind of been building up to this. We started with some real light contact last week when the rookies and some of the injured guys came in. We've tried to moderately increase it a little bit and then cut back yesterday. So what we are trying to do is get the players acclimated to the contact and to the hitting, not put it on them all at once but try to build into it slowly. So I thought we had a good contact practice. We did some blocking. We did some tackling. We did some live work there on the running game in nine on seven. So that was a little bit of the emphasis this morning. We still are working through the red area, the goal line period right in here, the instillation and working in those situational areas. So that is another focus. Andy Katzenmoyer, he came back to camp yesterday afternoon. He's been getting some treatment on his neck. Now today he is going to be looked at by the doctors and whatever further tests they need to do, they'll do on him. So until we get any more information on that there probably…you know we can't do much until we get a little more information on our end or on his end. The other thing I just thought I'd mention too, at this point in camp is…one of the biggest things now that we are starting to look for is consistency. I would say that every player that is out there on the field has done good things—shown flashes. You know, made plays that kind of make you sit back and make notice. You know a pretty impressive play or look at what so and so did here, look at what so and so did there. Everybody has pretty much registered that on the meter at one point or another in the last four or five days. Now it is getting down to the consistency. Is it one out or two? Is it three out of four? Is it four out of five? Is it nine out of ten? How consistent are the players performing and how many of those plays are sticking out relative to the bad ones? One good one, one bad one, one good one, one bad one type of performance is just not consistent enough for the level we need to play at. You probably here the coaches out there on the field talking about consistency, following through, and finishing plays and stringing good plays together and playing at a level and playing at a higher level. Really what that's referring to is not just showing us one play or two plays but a consistent level of plays and a minimal amount of mental errors and mistakes and critical mistakes. So I think that is kind of the stage we are in here moving toward trying to pull every thing here together towards the end of the week on Wednesday and Thursday.

Q: Is Katzenmoyer's uncertainty based on having some pain last week?

BB: Yeah, I think he did experience some discomfort in the neck area.

Q: And he wasn't expecting that?

BB: Right. He hadn't had any indications of it. Now he hadn't had the contact in the off-season and so forth, we started here. Evidently it was irritating a little bit and he felt it and I think that maybe set him into a mindset of 'what's going on, is there something wrong?' You know, that kind of thing. And rather than just addressing it at that time, he left. Andy and I have talked about that and now he is back. So now we are going to address it and basically go through the procedure with any player's physical complaint. Just handle it the same as we would anybody else's and start that process but we have delayed it a couple days from when the discomfort began. So he got some treatment from the trainers but again when you are talking about a neck or a spine or that type of injury there are specialists. Those are the type of people you'd want to send them to and that's who he'll be seeing.

Q: You don't have any sense yet when he might be returning to the field?

BB: Well, again I don't know what we are talking about here. I don't know the extent of the injury or the risk involved if there is any or whether this is a new injury or whether it's an irritation of an old injury or…I don't know. I don't know what we've got.

Q: Is that in Boston?

BB: I'm not sure whether it is Boston or Providence or wherever it is.

Q: It is understandable he'd be concerned, but why wouldn't he just come to you?

BB: Jim you'd have to ask him that question. I mean he did that but it was two days after the fact.

Q: To me it would seem that the first thing to do would be to see you, Andy or somebody?

BB: I don't disagree with that, but I think that is a question that Andy would have to answer. I mean I don't want to speak for him. I guess that I would just say, I mean I don't want to be insensitive on this. I think anybody whose had a neck injury and maybe thinks about the potential seriousness of the injury, and I am not saying this is or isn't, but any time you deal in that are there is some kind of…the is potential there possibly for something. People react differently to those types of things. I think Andy was probably…I think that probably had something to do with it. I think that probably had something to do with it. You know it wasn't like it was a sore arm.

Q: Does it bother you that he wouldn't come talk to you about that?

BB: He did talk. We have talked. It just wasn't after it happened. It was after kind of a knee jerk reaction, which was to leave camp. Then once we connected, whenever it was, I can't remember whatever the sequence was, we connected that next morning or the morning after. We've had several talks and have communicated pretty openly since then.

Q: Can you talk about what you have seen from Mike Compton and your hopes for him?

BB: Mike is a very experienced player. I can remember scouting him all the way back when he was coming out of West Virginia and I was at Cleveland. He was a center in college and through his career at the Lions has played virtually all of the offensive line positions. He has also played some tackle. He has primarily played center and guard, primarily played center. He has also played guard. He's played some tackle and he also long snaps. So Mike's got a lot of versatility. He's a smart guy. He's a tough player. He is probably the type of guy that plays a little better than he looks. When he gets into the game and he is able to cut block and finesse hold and do things like that that you don't typically do in a practice. He's got some savvy and he's a pretty efficient player and he's been able to do it at multiple positions. So Mike's a hard working guy, he's a tough guy, he's got some leadership and he's pretty much played not only a lot of positions but all the time. He's durable and he's a guy that has been very dependable through his career. What we are looking for him to do is, along with Damien [Woody], to give us some good leadership and decision-making and stability in the offensive line because we know we're going to be young at the tackle position. The more stability we have inside I think the easier it will make it for whoever the young tackles end up being.

Q: What kind of progress has J.R. Redmond made?

BB: Well, good compared to a year ago of course when J.R. was out there in shorts riding the bike and doing sit ups and that kind of thing. He's way ahead, but I think even from where he was from the end of last year, he is physically in a lot better shape. He's stronger. He's quicker. He is playing with better pad level and his running skills are improved from understanding the offense and recognizing blocks and from some physical development too. So I think he is having a good camp. You know the real challenge for J.R. is going to be when the games start to be able to be consistent and be productive and be durable. Last year even when J.R. played well and was productive he wasn't able to finish a lot of games. I mean he is a tough kid. It is not that he is not willing to do it, but he got nicked up here and there. One of the things that everybody puts a high price on for a running back is durability and his ability to carry the ball in the fourth quarter and that type of thing. So we will have to see how that works out. If J.R. can do that then that is something that he is going to have to establish this year.

Q: Would you classify him as instinctive?

BB: Yeah, I think J.R. is a…yeah. He sees things well and he can run with power. I think he is a good versatile back.

Q: How is Antowain Smith doing and how is the competition shaping up?

BB: The competition is good. Antowain did a little more today than he did yesterday. We kind of paced him through practice a little bit yesterday because he did the conditioning run in the morning and that probably emptied the bucket a little bit. And then today he started off relatively fresh and so we were able to give him some more snaps. We'll try to increase that in the next couple days. But you can see he runs hard. He pushes the pile a little bit. He's got some power. I think we've got a good competitive situation there. Kevin [Faulk] is showing off well in a lot of the things he normally does well, cut back runs, some loose plays like screens and draws, that type of thing. We've done quite a bit of blitz pick-up and all the backs could use a little sharpening up on that. It is not terrible but it needs to be better. So I think it is a good competitive situation and we are looking forward to getting Walter [Williams] and Robert Edwards back on the field as well, because when they were out there we saw some encouraging things. So I think if we can get all five of them out there we'll have a pretty competitive position.

Q: How close is Robert Edwards to coming back?

BB: Closer than he was a few days ago but I don't think he is there yet. What's today? Monday. I don't think we are going to see him for at least the next day or so. We'll have to see where we are at that point, but he won't be out there this afternoon. I'd be surprised if he can go tomorrow.

Q: What role do you envision for Marc Edwards?

BB: Well, that's a good question. Part of Marc's role will depend on what he does. Part of it will also depend on who he is playing with and what the rest of the situation is. You know I don't think we have anybody that's clearly established at tight end. So the tight end situation is usually those responsibilities are in conjunction with the fullback responsibilities. There are some teams in the league that have receiving tight ends and blocking fullbacks. There are other teams in the league who have blocking tight ends and receiving fullbacks. Some teams have combinations of both. So a lot of times those roles depend on who the other players are on the field in that position. For example, a couple years ago when Buffalo had Sam Gash and [Jay] Riemersma, who is clearly a receiving tight end. You get into a situation like the Jets who had Richie Anderson as a receiving fullback and whether it was [Anthony] Becht or [Fred] Baxter, whoever it was, more of a blocking tight end. So a lot of times the players roles in those positions are complementary so you can have some balance in your offense. But the thing I like about Marc is he's shown some versatility both at San Francisco, where he really had the most chance to show it, and even a little bit at Cleveland. He's run the ball well. He can catch the ball. He's big enough to block and pick up blitzes. Overall he is a pretty instinctive football player and he handles himself well on the field and he's been good in the kicking game as well. I think he's got a lot of things going for him. I'm not sure that he would be the best player in the league at any one of those skills, but in combination he's a pretty good package. In a way that's good because it gives us a little flexibility with him depending on how the rest of it works out. Just if you look at the backs, as I am sure you can picture, the role of the fullback would be a lot different if say Kevin Faulk was the running back compared to if Antowain Smith was the running back as an example. So depending on how some other things shake out that may alter Marc's role a little bit. But right now we are trying to get him trained in a number of things and then we will try to put the best group on the field we can or maybe it'll be a combination of a couple groups.

Q: What about your kicking game?

BB: Very competitive situation. All three punters have shown good legs, good leg strength, can hit the ball. I think the two young kids are starting to become a little bit more consistent. They were spraying them around a little bit when we first got to camp last week but I think they've started to show a little better consistency, a little better hang time. And Lee's [Johnson] come into camp in good shape and he looks like he still has something left. Both the kickers had good days yesterday. We had a two-minute drill at the end of the practice where both kickers got an opportunity to kick 45 or 50-yard field goals, whatever it was. You know trying to simulate an end of the drive situation, end of the half situation, end of the game situation, and they both hit the ball real well. So that looks pretty competitive too. So we'll see how that goes here in the next week or so. We'll probably try to kick the young kids in the next preseason game as much as we can and see where we are at that point. But I think right now they are just starting to get into good rhythm, particularly the kicker, you know with Owen [Pochman]. He's left footed, Adam [Vinatieri] is right footed. So the holding situation is a little bit different there. The timing of the field goal kicker with the holder and the snapper is a little bit more critical than the timing with the punter--not that it isn't important there. The left footed right/footed kicker thing in a punting aspect isn't nearly as much of a timing issue as with the kickers. I think those guys are a little more on their own.

Q: Could you talk a bit about Damon Huard and what he brings as a backup?

BB: Well one of the things we liked about Damon and why we signed him is because he has shown the ability to win football games in the National Football League. He's won them as a starter. He's come in and won them in relief and that's hard to do. It's hard to do. Any quarterback that can win games in the National Football League has a value to somebody. So he has done that. I think Damon is accurate. He is an accurate passer. He's athletic. I am not saying he is the most athletic guy in the league but he does have let's say at least average to maybe a little bit better above average athletic skills. He's got a little quickness in the pocket. He can move around. He is an accurate thrower and he has been productive. He seems to have a good demeanor about him too. He has a nice presence on the field, nice presence in the huddle, confident but not overbearing. He seems receptive to alterations, changes, changing up a route, making an adjustment on a play or that type of thing. He adapts pretty quickly. He is a pretty smart guy. Those are the things we liked about him. That is why we signed him. And he has come in and seems to have all those qualities.

Q: You talked about Robert Edwards physically. How is his attitude?

BB: Good. Robert's working hard. He knows he has faced a setback and so does everybody else. But nobody sees it as permanent and he'll work through this one. He's certainly overcome a lot more than a sore groin. He's better. He is certainly improved from where he was a few days ago. He is just not ready yet. He is working as hard as anybody to get back. So I am sure as soon as he is ready to go we'll try to work him in slowly but work him back in there.

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