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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed May 05 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conference (Morning)

BB: I thought we had a real good tempo out here this morning. I just talked to Jim [Fassel] briefly after practice, but this is real good work for us. The contact today and being able to do things at almost game tempo was excellent. I thought that we still need to sharpen up a little bit offensively in terms of our skill guys catching the ball, but it's not bad, certainly a pick up from yesterday and I thought it was a real good competitive situation. We're working a lot of people in. You probably saw us working the younger guys here at the end, so we got a good look at them with some live snaps. Overall, I was real pleased with the work we got out here all the way around. Now this afternoon, we're going to do some situational stuff, move the field, down and distance situations, into the red area, also some special teams situations that at this time of year you always need to work on, the hands team and onside kicks and safety kick situations and that kind of thing so that both teams have those covered, we wanted to get that done. So it will be a little bit more of a situational practice this afternoon. And of course we'll split up tomorrow and then play Friday night, so… I think this is working out real well so far. We've had two real good practices with the Giants and they're a good group to work with.

Q: Can you talk about the team's position on Terry Glenn right now, what exactly the situation is?

BB: No. I really I feel like I've said all I can say about that one. I'll talk about the players that are out here on the field working. There's nothing new from our end.

Q: You haven't heard from him?

BB: No. I haven't seen him.

Q: Can you talk about the competition at that starting position? Is that Troy Brown's spot now?

BB: Well, we have good competition at the receiver position and I think that this is a big part of it right here this week, with the Giants and the preseason games, to see who can establish themselves competitively. There's a number of guys there that have things to offer, whether it be speed, experience, size, hands, blocking, special teams. So we'll put them out there, let them play, and see how they do, but this is a good test for us this week. We've seen them against our guys. Now we'll see them against some other guys, big corners like Jason [Sehorn] and [Dave] Thomas and guys like that and it's a different type of guy for us to work against and that's good.

Q: How much does it change for you, when you had a guy who was double-teamed in most cases at that position and you may not have that this year?

BB: Well, I don't know. We'll just see what the other teams decide to do, but right now we're just putting our system in, trying to get everybody ready to go and we'll try to utilize our personnel the best we can in every day like we always did.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about what your plans are for the first preseason game in terms of who's going to play, how much and other things that fans should look for?

BB: We're probably going to zero in on that after we go through today. We really wanted to line up these three practices against the Giants and make sure we're getting people the work that we need, but you can see that the experienced guys, the better guys, are getting a lot of work in, and we want to do that, and I'm sure that their playing time will be monitored in the first preseason game as we try to get a look at some of the younger guys and we'll see how they show up in today's practice and also this afternoon.

Q: Given that you find that this has become a very productive situation, would you want to do this again next year maybe out at their place?

BB: Yeah, that's in the works because we open with the Giants next year in New York, so it will be logical for us to go to Albany and we've talked about that. Jim and I have talked about it, we've worked out some logistics, so I think that's a real good possibility.

Q: Any word on Andy Katzenmoyer's situation?

BB: Andy will be back today.

Q: Has he said that he wants to play?

BB: He'll just be back today. I haven't had a chance to sit down and talk to him.

Q: Do you feel like you've improved your offensive situation around Drew [Bledsoe] a little?

BB: Well I think we have to establish that. I think we're better on paper, but we've got to transfer that to the field. That's what we're going through right now, so I'm anxious to see how it will work out, and I'm looking forward to a week or two when we can get the offensive line healthy and get a couple more healthy bodies out there, but the flip side of that is giving some young kids some experience and they're hanging in there pretty well. This is a real good defensive front that the Giants have, especially that first group… Their front seven is probably as good as there is in football. So this is a real good chance for those guys to work against the best and they're hanging in there.

Q: What do you see from your running backs against this front?

BB: We've had a couple of creases in there. I think that J.R. [Redmond] and Kevin [Faulk] have shown a little quickness in running the ball. Antowain [Smith]'s more of a power runner and I don't think he's really going to be able to show up with his style until the pads come on and people try to tackle him, because he's such a big, physical guy and that's not the type of thing you see in drills that don't involve tackling. But they're all different packages. I think they all have something good to offer and I'm anxious to see them run Friday night. A big part of the back's job is making people miss and gaining yards after the first hit. They're all going to get hit. You just can't open up holes and have guys run for 50 or 60 yards all the time. That just doesn't happen in this league. But what it takes for backs to make people miss, whether it's running over them, around them, outrunning them, whatever their package is, and we really need to see that in game situations and see what guys can do, what kind of yardage they can make on their own. It's up to the line to make some yards for them, but it's also up to the backs to make some yards on their own.

Q: You said you're concentrating on the players on the field, and when we look at the wide receiver position, what kind or ripple effect is this having on guys at the lower end of the depth chart?

BB: Well I think that from top to bottom, it's a competitive group. From top to bottom. And in fact, we've talked about that in a couple of our meetings, that it's hard to separate whoever the best guy is. Some people would have one guy, other people might have somebody else as last. But in saying that, in ranking them, the comment has usually been that there isn't that big of a gap between the guy on the top and the guy who's second and the guy who's last and the guy who's next to last. Given a couple of good performances and some improvement, you could maybe see that gap closing. So my attitude on it is just put the guys out there and let them play and the guys that play well and perform well, then those will be the guys that are playing and the guys that don't do as well will be playing behind them.

Q: Has Matt Chatham really stepped up his game?

BB: I think the linebacker position is a good, competitive position with Matt and T.J. [Turner] being the two younger guys and Roman [Phifer] and [Mike] Vrabel, Greg [Spires], those guys have a little bit more experience, they seem to be pretty solid, but the young guys went out and have done a nice job of stepping in there and being competitive. They make the mistakes, but you see them showing up and making some plays. So we're encouraged by what they're doing, but in the end I think those players are going to have to perform well in the kicking game and that's really what it comes down to. And to be honest with you, a guy that's a backup linebacker that makes a play or two in a scrimmage, I mean that's great and we certainly want to see that, but more likely his primary job is going to be kickoff coverage and punt return and those jobs. And those are the ones that he's going to really have to do well in, so we're anxiously evaluating the special teams play of those type of players, those backup linebacker-type guys, backup running backs, backup defensive backs and how that competition interacts to try to get a good special teams unit out there, that's probably even a bigger part of Matt and T.J. and Rob Holmberg, guys like that, their role. Not that they don't want to play good on defense, I'm not saying that, but special teams is a big role for them.

Q: So Matt, T.J., Phifer and Vrabel, they're all the same position?

BB: Well, they're all playing on the end of the line. Right.

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