Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.
BB: Jets week - always a big week around here. [It's a] division game on the road, so we know how tough this is going to be. The Jets are certainly an outstanding football team. They showed that last year. We've been keeping our eye on them here through the preseason. We know it's going to be a tough environment down there - good football team and we're going to have to play well. We've got a lot to prepare for. They do a good job. They give you a lot of schemes to get prepared for in all three phases of the game and have a lot of good players doing it. [They're a] well-coached, tough, physical team, so hopefully we can have a good week of practice and go down there and play well on Sunday. That's the goal.
Q: This is the second year in a row that they've lost Kris Jenkins for the year due to injury.
BB: He's a terrific player, but he missed whatever it was, 13 games last year, and they still led the league in defense. So they're a great defense. They've been a great defense without him. He's a great player, but they're still very good.
Q: It's easy to contrast the differences in styles between you and Rex Ryan. How do you guys interact when you have interactions?
BB: Everybody has got a different style, so I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I have a lot of respect for Rex and what he's done. He's always been successful as a coach wherever he's been. Again I know Rob [Ryan] and his father, Buddy [Ryan]. Of course Buddy and I go back to when we were head coaches in the league together; I was at Cleveland and he was at Arizona. We practiced down there against the Cardinals and Philadelphia and all that. It's a great football family - a very successful one. They kind of all have their own style, which is similar. I respect that. Like I said, Rob was here for four years. I haven't spent that much time with Rex, but they're twin brothers so there are a lot of similarities between those two guys. We get along fine.
Q: Can you describe your style?
BB: No, I'll leave that to you guys.
Q: What went into the Laurence Maroney trade?
BB: I just felt like it was the right time for us to move on. I have a lot of respect for Laurence. He came in, [he's] been here for four years, worked hard. I think he's improved a lot and has helped us a lot as a player. I think he would have helped us this year, but we just felt like it was time to move on. We felt like we got a good value on the trade, so we made it in the best interest of the football team. I'm sure he'll do well for Denver. I think they got a good player and a kid that will work hard for them.
Q: Does this mean you are comfortable with two 34-year-old running backs as essentially your primary backs?
BB: Well, we have four backs on the team.
Q: Will there be a corresponding move, since you're at 52 players right now?
BB: Yeah, I'm sure by the end of the week we'll do something. We would actually need to do something, so yeah, we'll make a move here by the end of the week somewhere.
Q: What have your thoughts been on Javarris James so far and what you've saw out of his career at Miami?
BB: I think he's done a good job in the short time that he's been here. He picked things up, was a hardworking kid. It seems like he's got some skill. I thought he had a good preseason. That's why we brought him here on the practice squad. He's learning the system, picking up things - sort of a little different from the way that he's done them before, but he's a smart kid. [He] works hard. We'll see how it goes.
Q: His cousin, Edgerrin James, has had a tremendous career in the league. Do you see any similarities between the two?
BB: I really didn't have a lot of experience with Edge. He's a lot bigger physically. I think they're a different style of player. They play the same position… It would be hard for me to make that comparison. They look different to me physically.
Q: Form a personal standpoint, you spent a lot of time last year with Laurence Maroney one-on-one. Was this tough personally for you and what was your discussion like with him?
BB: Yeah, it's tough any time you have to do that. In the end, we try to do what we think is best for our football team. I think the conversation with Laurence was positive; I'll leave it at that. I drafted him, brought him in here. I think he worked hard, tried hard, had a lot of production for us, but in the end we're going in a different direction here.
Q: Last year the struggles you guys had on the road were pretty well documented. How much better do you feel in terms of the communication process and everything going into this year and how can you prepare for that in the preseason?
BB: As far as the crowd noise and stuff like that? That's something we prepare for every week - every week that we're on the road, offensively, and in the kicking game with our punt team and stuff like that. You simulate it in practice. It's not quite the same as it is in the game, but it's the best you can do. It's practice, and then you have to be able to handle that on the road. We pretty much see it every week. In the end, it comes down to being able to execute your plays as a team [on] offense, defense, special teams. That's what we're going to have to do down there. The noise, the hostile environment, all that - we know what that's going to be. We're going to have to play through that and be able to do it without the support of the crowd that we've had here. But it will be like that eight times a year.
Q: Given the multiple things the Jets do defensively, is there a thought of going simpler on offense this week so you can matchup against everything they do defensively?
BB: I think that's kind of the challenge you have and sort of the fine line that you try to find. If you play against a team and you're so simple, then it makes it relatively easy for them to figure out what you're doing and then tee off on it. If you're so multiple and you have so many things that matchup against so many other things, it's hard to really get them all practiced. That's a problem too, so you try to find that balance in between where you can do what you can do, you're confident doing it, [and] it's not too much. But at the same time I think if you just sit there and give them the same look every time, I don't know that that's really the way to go either. You try to strike that balance. And that's pretty common. Every week you run into that one way or another as to how much you feel like you can do and how much you want to change up on them versus how much you really need to do things that you're comfortable [with] and you can execute well. That's sort of the challenge every week, but that's definitely there this week. No doubt about it.
Q: Do you sense an increased comfort level now from your offense with their defense? You had said Rex's defense was not like what Baltimore ran that first time around last year.
BB: It's like what Baltimore ran when we was there. I wouldn't say it's like what Baltimore runs now.
Q: Would you say there is more comfort now from your offense having seen this defense twice?
BB: Sure. I mean, we've seen it so we're kind of familiar with the looks and how they play certain things and all that because it's not just watching it on film; we've actually gone out there and seen it on the field. So yeah, I think there's a benefit to that. At the same time, there's a benefit to - I know defensively - the same thing; they've seen us. They've seen our tempo at the line and our line splits and sort of the posture of our linemen or tight ends or whatever it is. So they're studying us. We're studying them. I think that's what happens in division games: the teams are familiar with each other. They're familiar with each other's players, kind of the schemes, the tempo, communication at the line and all those kind of things. It just becomes, obviously, a very competitive game because the teams know each other so well. How much do you change? How much do you stay the same? What can your team do? What can't it do that's new? Those are battles that you fight every week to try to strike that right balance.
Q: Have you done anything with "Hard Knocks" and how could that help you?
BB: I'd say not too much. I think our game plans will be formulated by what we feel like we can do in the game against the Jets, not some TV show.
Q: What have you seen from BenJarvus Green-Ellis since he's been here?
BB: I think Benny has improved a lot. He was a good player when he got here. [He had] a couple thousand-yard seasons in the SEC - very productive player, but he's improved in the passing game. He's improved in his blitz pickup. He could always run the ball and he can still run the ball. He gets a lot of positive yardage. But I think his big improvements have come in the passing game. On special teams, he's been a good special teams player for us. That's improved a little bit each year. I think this has certainly been his best year in the kicking game, both on the coverage and the return teams. There are not a lot of backs that are as good all-around players as he is. I think he brings a lot to our football team in both phases of the game. Again, he's worked really hard to improve in the passing and the kicking game aspects of his particular game.
Q: Given how poorly Mark Sanchez played Monday night, how do you prevent your defense from taking him lightly?
BB: The Jets were in the AFC Championship game last year, so enough said.
Q: Did you say Maroney could have helped you this year?
Q: So what leads you -
BB: I think I just answered that question. It was a trade off. We got something in return for it. I'm sure he'll help Denver. That's why they traded for him.