Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, January 14, 2016.
BB: Alright well first of all, relative to Chandler [Jones'] situation, there is nothing more important to me personally than the health and well-being of our players, staff and support people in the organization. That's the way it is with this organization and me personally, and I don't think that will ever change. We issued a statement on that, and I really don't have anything to add to it. Otherwise, I think the team is excited about getting ready for the game - obviously a big game against a great team, a team that's playing very well. We have a lot of respect for Andy [Reid] and the job that he and his staff do. Everything is pointing to us being at our best, optimum performance on Saturday afternoon, so that's what we're all pointing towards, that's what we're all working towards, and that's where we hope to be. We've got a little over two days, a little over 48 hours to pull it together here, so that's kind of where we are. We've had a good week of preparation and now we need to tie up some loose ends, some situational stuff and be ready to go.
Q: Can you comment on Bob Sutton and how he aligns his front seven?
BB: They have a few basic looks with really kind of a three-man line in base defense, four-man line in sub defenses. Their outside linebackers are really ends in sub, whether it's [Justin] Houston, [Dee] Ford or [Tamba] Hali, however that goes. They have some different looks. They don't need to pressure a lot because they get a lot of pressure with their front, but they do pressure some and that causes problems, too, because they already have a good rush without bringing extra guys. They mix it up, they time up their blitzes and disguise well, so they do a good job. They've got a lot of good players and they have a good scheme.
Q: How do you balance caring about your players' personal lives with making sure they're focused on work here?
BB: That's what we do. Every situation is different, and right now our focus is on Kansas City.
Q: Specific to Chandler, how will what happened affect how you use him against the Chiefs?
BB: Well we'll find out on Saturday. I could just Xerox you a copy of the game plan and you can send it over to Kansas City. That might be easier for all of us.
Q: Do you think the fans have a right to know about what happened to Chandler on Sunday?
BB: I've already covered this.
Q: Do you guys probe more deeply on something like that?
BB: I've already covered it.
Q: Bot not that aspect…
BB: I just answered a question.
Q: But do you go more deeply into that?
BB: I've said there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our staff and players. So to me, that covers it.
Q: Have you addressed it with the team overall also?
BB: What I say to the team is between me and the team. I talk to the team every day.
Q: Matthew Slater said the other day that everything in that locker room stays in that locker room, but we are a close-knit unit and we care about each other.
BB: I agree with that, yeah.
Q: Is there a level of disappointment that this crops up so close to a playoff game?
BB: I mean are there any more questions about the Chiefs here? The rest of it, I'm done talking about. We issued a statement, that's it.
Q: What makes Travis Kelce so good after the catch?
BB: Yeah, I mean he had like 100 yards after the catch against us last time we played him. Very athletic, he's got good speed. He's got good size, good balance. He's a hard guy to tackle for all those reasons. They throw him a lot of short passes, bubble screens, look passes, crossing routes and things like that, but he's also a vertical receiver as well. But on those short catch-and-run plays, he's really almost as dangerous as he is down the field. So tackling will be huge on him, and he's got a good skillset. He avoids guys, he runs over them.
Q: Is he similar to Delanie Walker in that regard?
BB: Yeah, Delanie hurt us on that, too. I mean they're both good, both good after the catch. We've got to do a good job on those guys not giving them a lot of space and then when we get them we've got to tackle them.
Q: What's been the key to sustaining success here as a program?
BB: I don't know. I don't really care about that. I'm just worried about the Chiefs this week.
Q: How do you prepare for a player like Chris Conley, who didn't have a lot of action in the regular season?
BB: You go back to where you go back to. Sometimes if they pick a player up from another team, you look at him. You look at whatever you can look at, whatever that is - preseason, maybe it's with another team, could possibly be in college, depending on what the guy's situation is. But again, that's a common thing every week. There are always players on the roster, particularly at this time of year, that maybe haven't played a lot during the regular season but they're one play away from playing. It could be a quarterback. It could be anybody. It could be a pass rusher or receiver or corner - anybody. So you have to be ready for those guys, and we prepare for everybody on the active roster. We don't know who they're going to play. They may put a guy in for certain plays and we need to know what his skills are and how we want to defend him or attack him as the case might be. It's really a common thing every week. It's just a different subset of players, but we always have to be ready for those guys, including the practice squad. There have been many weeks where guys have popped up from the practice squad the day before the game or it could be the day of the game if it's a Monday night game, but it could be one of those late things and you don't want to be spend a lot of time on a player five minutes before a game, so look here are the guys on the practice squad, here are the potential guys that could come up based on an injury situation or a position on your opponent that you think this guy might factor into. I don't want to say it's common, but it's certainly not uncommon.
Q: Do you get a feel in the first quarter for how injured players on both teams will perform?
BB: I don't know. I mean, yeah, it could be, but then a lot of times when you have an injury, a player feels good enough to play and he is good enough to play, but it's a 60-minute game and there are a lot of snaps and a lot of hits out there and as the game goes on, maybe that - whatever that happens to be - wears down or fatigues. He's healthy, but after a period of time he's not able to sustain, doesn't have the stamina with that particular body part or whatever the thing is, so it could change. I don't think there is any set rule.
Q: Is that just a coaching observation or would your medical staff ever look at the other team's players?
BB: I'd say we do what we think is best, so it would depend on what the situation is and who or what we're talking about. But it could be any combination of those, sure.
Q: Marcus Peters had a number of interceptions this year, but teams still went after him all year. Did you see an incline in his performance as the season went on in the film you've studied? Have you studied his film going all the way back to the beginning of the year?
BB: Yeah, we've seen every game.
Q: Have you seen a significant incline in his play?
BB: I'd say what he's done has been pretty consistent. He's got some good plays and like every other corner he's got some plays that they catch the ball on him.
Q: Is there anybody in particular you've seen him excel against - big receivers, small receivers?
BB: I'd say he's competitive. I mean they don't really match up. Basically he plays on our right, [Sean] Smith plays on our left. They don't really match up, so whoever is over there is over there, with [Ron] Parker inside or [Eric] Berry or however they do it - whoever comes down, like whoever's inside is inside. So you can put him wherever you want. They don't move very much.
Q: Does that make it easier for you as an offense to formation to get into a certain matchup that you like?
BB: You could do it that way, sure.
Q: How much do they flip Houston and Hali and Ford? Are they aligned in the same spot for the most part?
BB: First of all, they all haven't been heathy a lot, so whichever two are in there, those are the two that are in there. Hali plays on our left, Houston plays on our right, Ford, if he's in for one or the other, plays one or the other. It's not 100 percent. There is a little bit of variety there, but for the most part, that's where they are. It'd be kind of like the corners. I mean you could find a couple plays. So have they done it? Yeah. Do they do it a lot? Not a lot.
Q: What do you get out of an in-stadium practice that you wouldn't get on the lower practice field?
BB: It's as close as we can get to game conditions - can't get any closer than that.
Q: How does your eye feel?
Q: How has Josh McDaniels evolved as a play caller and coach since you had him the first time around?
BB: Good, Josh does a great job. Well prepared, got a lot of poise, good judgment, sees things well. He's really good.
Q: How do you find ways to beat a team that hasn't lost in over 10 weeks?
BB: We prepare the same every week. We prepare to face the team that we face. We can't control what their record was or wasn't - 0-12, 12-0, 15-0. We don't have any control over that. All we can control is the team that we play and our performance against that team. So that's what we try to do. We try to prepare our team to play against our opponent. We don't worry about their record, what it was or wasn't. We don't worry about how many yards they gained or didn't gain. We try to prepare our team to play the opponent that we're playing - this week, Kansas City. It's the same way we do against every other team that we face. It's really not that hard.
Q: Is there any level of concern that Rob Gronkowski missed practice the other day and was limited yesterday?
BB: We'll list the players after practice like we do every day.
Q: How helpful was it to see the way the Chiefs played against the Texans last week since they run a similar offense?
BB: You can learn something from every game. I mean every game we see on them, you learn something. But our game will be different. We'll have to play our game the way our game plays. Part of the preparation is watching them play everybody, especially the last one. There is definitely a benefit from it, but our game is going to be our game, so that's what it is.