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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Jul 23 - 12:00 AM | Sun Jul 25 - 11:58 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

BB: Probably a couple of things that you will want to ask about, I will try to cover them here. On the injuries, Adam Davis hurt his ankle I am not sure of the extent of it we will now a little bit more after they look at it today. (Ray) Hill has a knee injury that looks more serious. He is in with the doctors right now so I said that one probably doesn't look too good for awhile, but I don't know the exact extent of it at this point.

I felt like since we started training camp, for the most part, the players have tried to do everything we've asked them to do. I think we made some progress, I thought we made a little more progress last night. That was our first trip on the road and that's always a little bit different and learning how to play in adverse and unfriendly territory. I thought that was some progress. I don't think we are where we need to be. We've left some points out there on the field. We should have scored more. I think our kickoff coverage wasn't very good. We had some breakdowns on defense, some of which showed up, some that didn't, but overall I think that we are making some progress.

Because of the way that all of the players and the coaches for that matter, the way everybody has really played together and fought through some difficult situations here in camp, we broke camp today, actually yesterday. So today we are packing up and we are going to try to get settled back in the stadium tomorrow and try to be on a regular season schedule as soon as we can once we get all of our stuff back up there. That's where we are at for this week. Defensively, I think our team defense is improving. The communication is improving, the overall execution and understanding by all eleven players of what we are doing in improving and that really includes everyone. I can't single anybody out, there are a lot of people doing a good job. Hopefully that will continue to improve because it needs to, we are not there yet, but that is encouraging. I was glad to see us get the ball in the end zone offensively and have some consistency running the ball. Overall I think we made a little progress last night.

Q: What was the feeling about getting Tom Brady in there so early with the first unit?

BB: We wanted to make sure that Drew (Bledsoe) got enough work and that Drew had an opportunity to get a two minute drill at the end of the half and we wanted to get all three quarterbacks a decent number of plays. By putting Tom in there and seeing him against good competition, basically Carolina's first group, we were able to take a look at him at that level of competition and also bring Drew back so we could still monitor the number of plays, but give him an opportunity to have some end of the half situations, which actually two of them came up for him, so that was good.

Q: You mentioned the play of the defense can you evaluate what is going on at nose tackle right now, I know that (Jace) Sayler got a lot of reps last night as well as Garrett Johnson?

BB: They both got a lot of reps and we really wanted to play Giradie Mercer a little more then we did we only had four plays on defense in the fourth quarter so we kind of got squeezed out there, but that wasn't intentional in fact a lot of defensive players that we planned to see play more it just didn't work out. We had the ball for the last ten and a half minutes of the game or whatever it was. That was part of the problem there we didn't get a real good look at everybody, but Jace is doing a good job he is a strong kid, he has shown up a little bit on the pass rush, had a little pressure last night. Garrett has a little bit more experience and recognizes teams may be a hair quicker right now. Giradie is young guy, he is a little shorter, squattier kind of guy, but he has got real strong legs and he has got good quickness and plays pretty well laterally when he has had an opportunity to. I think all three of those guys have shown some positive signs and we are going to have to make sure that we get a little longer look at Giradie next week.

Q: Is Mike Wells someone you are looking at?

BB: My understanding is that he is off the market.

Q: Can you talk about the timing of Friday's decision with Michael Bishop and what went into that?

BB: The two main factors at work are a feeling about the three quarterbacks that we have and how difficult it is to get three quarterbacks the right amount of work, how much more difficult it is to get a fourth in there and the fact that Mike, in a right way, in a very positive way, has expressed his interest to get a little more opportunity which I certainly understand and appreciate. I think that is the kind of attitude that you want from a player. Mike has worked hard and I think that he deserved an opportunity to see if maybe he could get into a situation where he had a little more of a chance. From what I know I think Miami is where he will probably end up next.

Q: Did you say Miami put a claim on him?

BB: I think they got him yes.

Q: Can you talk about Matt Stevens, is this someone who might have fallen through the cracks, he is someone who seems to be showing up quite a bit in the last two games. Is he somebody who is going to be a pretty big part of your defense?

BB: Matt is having a good camp. He started and played right around 50 percent for the Redskins at free safety so I don't think he is a real sleeper, but we have always liked Matt. We liked his athleticism, his toughness, he is a very intelligent guy probably one of the best in the league to tell you the truth. He does a lot of things well. He is good in the kicking game so I think there are a lot of different things that he can do and as we wind down here in preseason we will try to start to look at not only Matt, but some of the other players that come into the picture at that position and try to find the best roles for each of them so we can maximize their strength on the team including the kicking game, sub-defenses, regular defense and so fourth.

Q: Are any of the receivers starting to separate themselves in one direction or the other?

BB: We got the ball spread around pretty good last night. To be honest with you we just finished going through the film and taking a look at everybody. We need to sit-down when we finish breaking camp and do a little bit of a personnel evaluation at all positions not just receiver, but I think the four guys that probably got more playing time last night Bert (Emanuel), David Paten, Charles Johnson and Curtis (Jackson) all did some real positive things in the game. Our quarterbacks didn't always get them the ball, but they were open, they ran some good routes, we had a couple of decent moves after the catch and I thought that those four guys did a pretty good. Now Troy (Brown) we just played in some multiple receiver sets and of course Torrance (Small) was out, but I thought that those four guys did a pretty good job. Tony (Simmons) made a nice catch on the sideline, Shock (Shockmain Davis) had tough luck on that pass interference call, but they showed up in there too and Ronney (Daniels) made a nice play at the end there on that corner route so everybody got into the action a little bit including the kicking game so it still looks like we want to give those guys a little more time and make sure we make the right decisions.

Q: Is Troy (Brown) pretty much in a position where you have a pretty good idea of what he can do for you and so you will look more at other guys at this time of year than him?

BB: yes I think we have a real good idea of what Troy can do. It is more what the other people can do and some of those people have been in the league for awhile and some of them haven't like Ronney and Shockmain, but we need to see how they will perform in our system and give them time to work with the quarterbacks and all of that. Troy is the one guy that we feel we know the most about and I think we know what we want his role to be. We know what his strengths are and how he will fit in with other guys we just need to determine which other guys we are working with, or who is at the top of that list.

Q: Did you hope that Kevin Faulk would get more than two carries last night or does he kind of fall into that Troy Brown category?

BB: No, well I would say he is a little bit in the Troy Brown category, yes. We do feel like we know what Kevin can do and I have been happy with what Kevin has done in training camp. I think he showed it on that kickoff return that he can make plays with the ball in his hands and we are really trying to get a look at J.R. (Redmond) and Antowain (Smith) and they both had double digit carries and we were able to get Walter Williams some carries at the end there, we want to see (Patrick) Pass, we want to see (Marc) Edwards, we want to see (Jeff) Paulk. Kevin is also a guy that has multiple skills in the kicking game, the return game, the return game, the receiving game and as a change of pace kind of runner. That is going to be probably a little bit of what his role would be anyway. I don't see him as a guy that is going to carry the ball 25-30 times a game, but there were actually some plays where we could have gotten it to him a little bit sooner, or could have got it to him and the ball went somewhere else…but he is certainly a guy we would like to see with the ball in his hands as long as it is not on the ground.

Q: Can you talk about the reasoning of putting Bryan Cox in at fullback?

BB: We tried to get him to his somebody.

Q: Was David Patten's performance last night especially in the first half was that at all negated by the matchup Carolina had or was he still doing that against first tier corners for Carolina?

BB: Yes and no. Carolina has six corners on their roster and their top two guys (Rashard) Anderson and (Doug) Evans played and then their second guys were out and then their third guys played a little bit in the sub-defense and in the second half so we saw Evans and Anderson quite a bit both in regular and in sub and then they alternated their fifth and sixth guys in because (Jimmy) Hitchcock and those guys were out.

Q: But was David's performance nonetheless something that was eye opening to you?

BB: I thought David did a decent job. We threw him a couple of short passes trying to get catch and run plays, little hitch patterns out there and try to get him the ball out there in some space and see what he can do, but I thought that David did a decent job. He's made good progress all the way through the camp and in training camp, I am talking about the spring camps and in training camp. We wanted to get a look at him on kickoff returns which we did there at the beginning of the game. I think that he is another guy that has multiple skills and what I am really trying to say is you talk about Faulk, you talk about Brown, you talk about Patten various guys, same thing in the offensive backfield, at some point we want to try to put it together so that we can maximize everybody, get them an opportunity to be involved…and see what they can do and guys that have some multiple skills give us some flexibility there so we can do some different things with them.

Q: What did you see out of your offensive line out there?

BB: I think there was a step forward. Having (Joe) Andruzzi back in there was a help. I thought the pass protection was a little bit better than it was last week. I thought the run blocking was a little bit better than last week. We still have a way to go and we used a lot of tight ends in the game, two and three tight end formations and so some of our combination blocking then involved the tight ends or the tight ends and tackles or that type of thing. Some of that needs to be cleaned up a little bit so that's the first time we have done it in game conditions and we can coach off of it and look at some of the mistakes or some of the combination clocks that we could execute a little bit better, but overall I felt that the offensive line improved from last week. We need to keep working hard and stay in that direction. Hopefully we will start to get some of these guys back a little bit. Guys like Andruzzi that just came back with another week that that will tighten up too between Joe and Damien (Woody) and the tackles and so forth. We had a couple of communication breakdowns against the Giants and we trimmed that down a little bit last night. The biggest negative on the offensive line last night was the five penalties and that's just too many.

Q: What is your preparation before the Tampa Bay game, what are you looking to improve on?

BB: A couple of things last night that I think we need to address kickoff coverage would be one. We haven't got our punt return game going the way we would like to so kickoff coverage and punt return would be two things in the kicking game that we will spend more time on this week and try to get those performing a little bit better. Offensively we are still ending up with too many field goals and not enough touchdowns. I would like to be able to see us hit a couple of big plays. We have been behind the defense tow or three times here in the first couple of preseason games and haven't been able to connect. It would be nice to hit one of those. Defensively, I think we have got to get our younger players to play at the same level and the same tempo that some of our more veteran players are playing at. I don't think that the effort and the toughness is quite at the level it needs to be and I think they will see on film that we have to play a little bit harder than we are playing with some of the younger guys and tackle a little bit better. We had a couple of substitution errors in the game and had to blow a couple of timeouts because we screwed something up. Either the right guy wasn't on the field or in one case we had a formation screwed up or things like that and that is just a lack of concentration so we need to eliminate those things under game conditions on the road, playing more plays offensively. We had quite a few plays last night so some of the guys maybe got a little bit tired or lost their concentration when some of the situations came up. The two point situation last night was an obvious situation, It was 16-0 Carolina scores everybody in the stadium knew they were going for two and we have ten guys on the field so things like that we need to do a little bit better job of and those are some of the connections we will make this week.

Q: Have you figured how many receivers you are going to carry?

BB: No

Q: Would you tell us if you did?

BB: Well I think that that's always going to be subject to change. When you have two weeks to go in training camp particularly because I think there is some depth at the running back position and there is some depth in the defensive back position so the final count to a certain degree is going to be dependent on how everybody does in the game, but you know if I knew I would tell you.

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