Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, September 29, 2010.
BB: We're rolling here on Miami. As usual, they're a real good football team. They play tough, play smart. I think they've got a real good young group of players that they've added to the team over the last couple of years. [There are] Some new faces down there, both from the league, like [Brandon] Marshall and [Karlos] Dansby, and then young kids like Koa Misi and [Jared] Odrick, guys like that. [They're a] good football team. It's always tough to play down there. They do a good job. They give you a lot to get ready for. They're very well-coached. They're a very disciplined team. [They have the] fewest penalties in the league. I think that kind of sums up the way they play; they play hard, they play tough and they make you earn everything. We're going to have to do a good job down there in all three phases of the game for 60 minutes and that's what it's going to take.
Q: Can you talk about moving Rich Ohrnberger up to the active roster today?
BB: We just felt that Rich deserved to be moved up there.
Q: Can you talk about the dimension that BenJarvus brings to the team and the options you have when he's in there?
BB: Benny is a good, solid back. I think he does everything pretty well. [He] runs, obviously. He can pick up the blitz, catch the ball. He plays solid for us in the kicking game. He can really help us on all four downs in the game. It's good to have players like that that are versatile and can do a lot of different things. Benny is tough. He seems to always kind of be moving forward on contact and get that extra yard or two. You don't see him get knocked back very often. He's got good pad level, runs hard. He's tough.
Q: It's been almost exactly two years since Miami unveiled the Wildcat against you guys. This year they've been more efficient with their standard sets instead of the Wildcat. Do you see it as something that might be coming to an end?
BB: They use it every week, so I think it's part of their offense. They have a different version of it each week; they change the formation or the look or they give you a different look on it. But with Ronnie [Brown] - well it could be Ricky [Williams] too, they've used him back there - but as not the quarterback taking the snap from center and then having a variety of plays that come off it, they do a good job of disguising that. A lot of it's just their core things they do on offense. It's not really new plays, but it's a new look and it puts you in a different dimension defensively. I think it's still there. I think every team is going to see it and probably depending on how well they do or don't do against it, you get more or less of it.
Q: Have you found your offense to be more varied this year in terms of how many different people Tom Brady can throw to?
BB: I think Tom has always tried to throw to the open receiver. We've always, I think for the most part, moved the ball around and had a number of different guys on the receiving end of his passes. We don't design plays [and say], 'Well, we're going to go back and throw to this guy,' or 'we're going to go back and throw to that guy.' We try to keep everybody involved in the play and then depending on how the defense and what kind of coverage they present to the quarterback, he'll make hopefully the right decision about where to go with the ball and those players will be open based on there being less coverage in that part of the field. That's kind of how we set it up.
Q: When you did self scouting in 2009, did you find that he had targeted Wes Welker and Randy Moss too much and maybe forced it there?
BB: Again, as a quarterback, you want to throw the ball to the receivers that are open. If you have confidence in certain receivers being open, sometimes you tend to give them a little longer look or maybe you stay with them a little bit longer because, all other things being equal, if you have a choice of going here or going there, you go to maybe the most confidence in. That comes up a lot in the passing game where you have not just one guy to throw to, but if they play a certain coverage you can go to A or B or if they play a different coverage you could go to B or C, however you have it set up. I think Tom always tries to do the right thing and do what's best. Sometimes that's, like I said, to give the receiver you have the most confidence in a little longer.
Q: People always talk about continuity on the offensive line, but how important is it in the secondary?
BB: I think it's important in every area. There's a lot to be said for just working together, seeing things together. So much of football is everybody seeing the same picture. As we kind of say: 'seeing it through one set of eyes.' If three or four guys see the same thing, then they'll all have the same reaction. If two guys see it one way and two guys see it another way, then probably somewhere along the line it's not all going to fit together. The continuity with any group of players, whether it's punt protection, secondary adjustments, offensive line, pickups, quarterbacks, receivers, recognizing coverages and leverage of the defenders and all those things. There's a lot to be said for the more you do it, the more you can see it the same, then the better the execution is going to be.
Q: Do you take that into account each week when you're trying to match up strengths and weaknesses?
BB: Yeah, I think most teams do that. They try to give the other team a little different look to a play they want to run so that it's not so obvious and make them try to figure it out rather than just hand it to them and say 'Ok, here's what we're going to do,' and make it easier for them to get their reads. I think that's really pretty common. I think most all offenses do that to some degree or have a play that complements it, so it's, 'Ok it looks like this play, but we also have two other plays that look kind of exactly like that.' And then something different happens later in the play [like a] run on a play action or a pass with a double move off the same play where it looks the same, but it's really not.
Q: How are they using Brandon Marshall in terms of how they line him up? How much are they moving him around?
BB: They move him around a decent amount. He plays the X more than he plays any other position, but he moves around. He plays some in the slot and lines up in the backfield occasionally. They used him as a Wildcat guy - the fast motion sweep player. They've done some different things with him.
Q: How does he make their offense different?
BB: He's a tough matchup guy. He's big. He's like a tight end. He's huge for a receiver. That's a tough matchup. He can go up and get the ball. He's a strong runner with the ball in his hands and good after the catch. He's got good speed, good quickness, [and] good receiving skills. He's a tough guy to match up against.
Q: What about Karlos Dansby?
BB: He never really comes off the field. Defensively, he plays in all situations - first, second and third down. He's in their sub groupings. He's in all their regular defenses. He's a good off-the-line linebacker. He's got good speed, good range, instincts are good. He sees things and reacts quickly. He's a very instinctive player and a hard guy to block in space. Screens and plays like that in the passing game, he's a hard guy to get to - good instinctive guy in the running game, too. He's a solid player for them. He's been a good addition to their team.
Q: They've kind of built around Jake Long. Is there one area where he really excels and that you would say he's special there?
BB: I'd say that he's special [in that] he's pretty good at everything. He's a solid player in every area of the game. I don't think there's one big weakness that he has. [In the] running game, he can get movement, handles speed, handles power, [in the] passing game, [he handles] edge rushers, power rushers. He's smart, handles games well. I think he does a pretty good job at everything.
Q: You guys have struggled down there, especially in early season games. Do you have to prepare differently for these September games down there with the weather and have you done anything differently this week to prepare for it?
BB: Like turn up the temperature outside? It's like if you're a Florida team and you come to play in New England in December. I think you just have to make that adjustment. That's part of your game adjustments. We've had trouble with them here; we've had trouble with them down there. They're a good football team. They give you problems wherever you play them. I think it just comes down to execution and just playing a good football game against a good team. Sure, it's hard down there, but it's always hard on the road. It would be hard against them no matter where we play them.
Q: You mentioned how good Brandon Marshall is at running after the catch. How much will you emphasize to your defensive backs that they have to tackle, given his skills?
BB: As much as we can. It's a top priority.
Q: Do you have to coach any differently against a guy like that that plays the ball in the air like he does? Do you have to coach your defensive backs any differently?
BB: No, I think...we see Chad Johnson, Braylon Edwards, Lee Evans, Marshall. There are going to be one or two every week. They're all pretty good.
Q: Can you talk about the importance of taking care of business is the division?
BB: Well, there are no bigger games than division games, and division games on the road are huge. I know it's only the fourth game of the season, but these are the kind of games that at the end of the year have a big impact on the division standings [with] tiebreakers and all of that. We all know that. We don't know how it's going to turn out, but we know that they're important games. I don't think we really do anything different other than we know it's a big division game. All division games are big.
Q: What are Kyle Arrington's strengths at cornerback? He seems pretty stocky.
BB: He's a strong guy. He's fast and I think we can see that in the kicking game. He covers well, tackles well. He's physical player [and a] hardworking kid.
Q: What did you think of his start last week?
BB: I thought Kyle did some good things. Not perfect; there are some things he needs to work on, but I thought he competed well. That was a nice play he made there on the fade ball in the end zone. He made some tackles. He works hard. He plays hard. He gave us a good effort [and] competed well.
Q: Was that the best you've see of Chad Henne last week in the Monday night game?
BB: He had a pretty good day against us last year. He's a good quarterback. He's got good receivers. He's got good weapons, a good offensive line; they protect well. They do a good job offensively. He's tough to handle. So is there whole offense. They've got a lot of guys that can hurt you.
Q: Do you consider the Dolphins coaching staff to be really good at adjustments? They've come back from being down big a few times, so is there something that you think allows them to do that? Maybe the experience of a guy like Dan Henning?
BB: I've coached with Dan. I know Dan. He's an excellent coach. I think he had a real good understanding of not only the offense of football, but how that ties into the other two phases of the game. It's a new defensive staff down there this year [with] Mike Nolan. But we've known Mike through the years back from when...he's been with several different teams. I have a lot of respect for mike and I think Mike does a really good job too, both in-game, preparation, scheme, you name it. I think they have a really good coaching staff. And obviously Tony [Sparano] does a good job. He's got a really good record down there. They're solid every week.
Q: How much more are they pressuring with Nolan?
BB: Not dramatic. It's a different system, but they still pressure. Mike does it. They did it last year when Paul [Pasqualoni] was down there. They're not going to pressure like some teams do in the league, but they'll definitely mix it in there.
Q: I'm asking since he was the coordinator with the Denver Broncos last year when you guys played them. Did you face heavy pressure in that game?
BB: No. I think it's about the same percentage that they normally do or what he's done this year. They're not just going to sit there, but they haven't been the kind of team that's going to pressure every single down, either.
Q: How has Dan Connolly been through the first three weeks?
BB: Dan has done a good job for us [in] preseason, regular season, kickoff return. Just as an example, those four plays that he was in for at the end of the first half last week, kickoff return, he's right at the point of attack on the wedge, and then the two pass plays and then a field goal where they overloaded the rush and came right over his side. [He was] the only guy really that was on the field for all four of those plays was kind of right at the point of attack on all four of them. That was a big series in the game. Dan is a versatile player. He works hard. He's a real smart guy. I think he has really improved over the time he's been here. He came from a real small school, but his whole career he has improved and then worked hard here. Dante [Scarnecchia] has coached him well. He's blended in with the offensive line. Those guys work together pretty well as a unit. I think he's made a nice career and he's steadily improved in all phases of the game. I know you guys only care about the offensive line, but really in the kicking game and all that too, really it's all important.
Q: Is the importance of the kicking higher this game? Last time they had some problems with their punt team and you guys had a kickoff returned and taken back.
BB: Yeah, they had a punt blocked, blocked a field goal. Of course, hey hurt us down there last year. After we went ahead, they had a kickoff return back to midfield that set up a field goal that made it 21-13. Yeah, they're solid in the kicking game. They've got two really good kick returners, [Davone] Bess and [Patrick] Cobbs are both real aggressive, hard-nosed returners. Those guys get a lot of positive yards. They've got a good group of core special team players. They cover well and their specialists are good. They do a solid job in that area. It will absolutely be important. It always is, but field position and points, being able to score points with those field goal teams, when you get into a close game, those points are huge. They're good there.